Downtown Ishpeming prepares for fall carnival

Downtown Ishpeming prepares for fall carnival

First Street in downtown Ishpeming is closed to traffic. It’ll remain off limits to cars until Sunday so that a nearly-annual event can take place.

The Ishpeming Carnival, which used to be known as May Fest and Spring Fest, wasn’t held last year.

Skerbeck Brothers Shows of Escanaba juggles many fairs and carnivals that want springtime dates. Last year was Ishpeming’s turn to be left out of the loop, but with the carnival now moved to September, it hopes to have a permanent place in the schedule each year.

“We about flipped it 180 (degrees) from a springtime to a fall-time festival,” Skerbeck Carnival concession manager Bob Skerbeck said. “We did very well the last time we were here in the spring, and we’re hoping to repeat that success, if not grow from it.”

It’s taking place tomorrow through Saturday. Skerbeck Brothers Shows has brought many of their attractions from the U.P. State Fair to Ishpeming. Many have never made the trip before.

“We have our giant (Ferris) wheel here,” Skerbeck said. “We brought in a Fireball, which is a roller coaster ride, and new bumper cars, or scooters, as they’re called. We’ve got about 18 rides.”

The carnival started in 2004, and this is the ninth time it’ll be held in those 11 years. The proceeds are split between Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay and the Ishpeming Volunteer Fire Department.