City of Fun carnival; current-day carnies with a family heritage

City of Fun Carnival, Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 8, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

HURRICANE – Carnival people do not learn to love the carny life, they are born with a passion and love for it that passes from generation to generation. Pam Melendez-Zoeller is the owner of the City of Fun, and is not the exception.

City of Fun carnival patron, Dan George, hammers for the bell at the Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 8, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Growing up in the business from age 3, Zoeller’s childhood meant nights filled with bright lights, buzzing and whirling sounds from the many rides her father Lou Melendez owned. Traveling and seeing new faces every week, knowing that there would be a new adventure awaiting in the next city they arrived to is a dream to many children, but for Zoeller and other carnival family children, it “is” their life.

As Zoeller grew up she was offered a chance to make an investment in a business and promptly decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and invest in what made her the happiest, the carnival.

The City of Fun carnival is a big family that not only includes the Melendez family,  but the many people that contribute to bringing complete strangers happiness for that brief moment that they enter this little world they call the carnival.

“It’s a family thing, my mother, sister, nieces, nephew, daughter and granddaughter are all part of the business. My husband was also part of the business up until 5 years ago when he passed away.” Zoeller said. “To make it a successful business you got to enjoy what you are doing and we all just love it.”

Carnivals evoke sweet memories of gone summers, but the carnival of City of Fun refuses to stay in the times of an era left behind. Electric lights and beats that are enjoyed by children of this era ensure the carnival a steady future. Supervisor Frank Morales, for example stays on top of all the social media networking.

City of Fun Carnival carny, Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 8, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Morales came to know Zoeller as a young 5-year-old, he joined his father who was a foreman at the time. When his father decided to leave, Morales stayed behind knowing that the love he felt for the carnival would only grow with time. Morales travels with his wife and four children, who are also part of the carnival.

The carnival of City of Fun may be updated in its time but strives to keep high values, including honesty. A great example of this, was just a few days ago. Someone reported a missing wallet and posted it on Washington County Fair Facebook page. Morales noticed it and quickly responded stating that they had found a wallet with money and that they would be open that day at 4 p.m.

“Skipper is who found the wallet, and reported it to Frank, Skipper runs GeeWizz.” Zoeller said “Most of the crew has been part of the Carnival for 10 to 15 years and are honest and good people.”

Today may be your last chance to enjoy the City of Fun with their mouthwatering food only a fair and carnival can bring to you. That is – until next year when Zoeller and Morales and the City of Fun carny family return to bring joy and laughter to all who seek an adventure.

For more on the Washington County Fair, visit these related links:

Photo Gallery:  Washington County Fair 2012

Behind the scenes at the Washington County Fair

Dixie summer culminates with the Washington County Fair

For a full schedule of events visit the Washington County Fair website here.

Subscribe to the Washington County Fair Facebook page for posts and prizes and more.


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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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