KNIGHTDALE — Last week, the landscape of the parking lot near Target began to look a little different.
There was a pole. A big circle. And lots of flags.
On Thursday night, the poles and circles lit up, marking the beginning of the 11-day Knightdale Carnival.
The carnival is not run by or connected to the town. Knightdale’s Police Department, however, brings the event to town to help with its efforts to raise money for the Special Olympics.
The carnival rides and games are provided by Powers Great American Midways, who also provides the rides and attractions for the North Carolina State Fair.
Knightdale’s setup incudes smaller rides than at the fair, like “Alien Abduction,” which spins riders in a spacecraft. “Super Shot” is one of the most visible rides; it brings riders up into the air and drops them.
The other noticeable ride is the “Fire Ball.” Although it looks like a ferris wheel, the ride actually sends riders back and forth until they make a full rotation through the inside of the circle.
There are also smaller activities, like a funhouse maze and slides. If rides and heights are out of the question, the carnival also has traditional fair games, like popping a balloon for a stuffed animal or going fishing for plastic toys.
The carnival is open to all ages. Admission is free, but patrons have to purchase tickets for rides. Rides cost between three and five tickets and tickets are $1 a piece. A $20 wristband for unlimited rides is also available.
The carnival runs weekdays 6-10 p.m., Saturdays noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays 1-10 p.m.
It will be set up through April 6.