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Fair weather, despite clouds

Posted: February 15, 2009 1:07 a.m.
Updated: February 15, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Briell Dobreff, 4, rides the Alligator Alley roller coaster at the Christiansen Amusements carnival Saturday at Westfield Valencia Town Center.

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Children went from ride to ride-hollering on the mini-roller coaster Alligator Alley, scanning the scenery from the ferris wheel-like Zipper or lifting their hands on the electronic swings Saturday at a Valencia carnival. They played games like Ring A Duck and Turtle Creek with stuffed animal prizes.

"It's rare to pass by and see a carnival and just have a good old-fashioned time - cotton candy, popcorn, all that kind of stuff," said Ramon De Los Monteros, the fair's ride supervisor assistant. "You (just) see it in movies nowadays."

Escondido-based Christiansen Amusements hosts the 10-day carnival which opened for its second day Saturday, taking up a section of the Westfield Valencia Town Center parking lot near Magic Mountain Parkway and Citrus Street.

Many of those at the carnival said they found it by chance.

"We drove by it last night and saw it set up," said Heather Steiner of Santa Clarita, who took her 6-year-old son. "It's cute. It's small, but it's appropriate for his age."

It was also Steiner's main Valentine's Day outing with her son.

"This was it," she said. "He was my big date."

Attendance was scarce in the afternoon which the carnival's supervisor, Tee Pasefika, said could be a mix of the cold weather and bad economy.

"If the weather gets worse, we'll play it by ear," he said. "Yesterday it was just too cold, so no one came out. We're here 10 days so if it rains a couple days, we'll be all right. You take your chances with a carnival."

For some kids, the carnival was a weekend highlight. Eleven-year-old Adriana Trebizo attended the carnival with her grandfather and said it was much better than what she already had planned.

"It's very amusing," Trebizo said after getting off The Casino, a ride with spinning booths. "I would have just sat at my house and just watched TV."

Others like Kaitlyn Louthan and Caitlin Harding left the ticket booth after deciding to return Monday for better prices.

"Sometimes the mall gets boring when you run out of money, so we saw this in the parking lot," Harding, 15, said. "We'll probably come back Monday because it'll be cheaper."

The carnival is offering $15 unlimited rides from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, said ticket saleswoman Ronda Mitchell. Opening time is 1 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and 5 p.m. on Friday. Admission is $1.50 and children under 7 years old are free. Ride prices are not included in admission.

Signal Staff Writer Melissa Gasca contributed to this story.

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