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From Princess Tea parties to hot air balloon liftoffs, The Greater Alliance Area Carnation Festival has something for everyone.
For 10 days in August (Aug. 7-14), Alliance is the place to be to see old friends and meet new ones, as the community celebrates its history, ranging from cemetery and museum tours as well as the Rib Fest.
Different from a competitive Rib Burn-Off, some of the best barbecuers in the area still show off to sell their wares during the three-day event, which also includes a variety of traditional fair food like gyros, pizza and french fries.
And, it doesn't hurt that organizers also put a high premium on good music to help digest those goodies.
That first Sunday is the official kickoff with plenty of kid-friendly events, such as a fishing derby in Silver Park and the Carnation Cup vintage baseball game on the lawn of Glamorgan Castle.
Speaking of children, babies born at Alliance Community Hospital during the days of the festival receive gift bags.
However, in the foreground around the castle lakes, one of the area's big draws is the annual Fire Truck Pump-In and Muster, which includes a myriad of vehicles from area departments as well as the annual firefighter games.
And, one mustn't forget the Rodman Public Library's annual Use Book Sale, which continues to draw more participation every year.
This is all precursors to the kickoff parade, where all the Carnation Queen candidates put on their best face and wave to make a memorable impression six hours prior to that evening's pageant.
It is that weekend, where the Carnation Queen and her court's real work begins. As ambassadors for the festival, they peek in on every event with care, ranging from the various ice cream socials at city nursing homes and Carnation 5K run to the Hot Air Balloon Lift-Off and very popular Coastal Pet Show held every year in Silver Park.
This isn't mentioning the flower shows, photography contests for amateurs and plenty of opportunities for athletic competition.
Along with fitting in their trips to learn about city operations, the Carnation Queen and her court keep very busy in between shooting weapons at the Alliance Police Department training course and experiencing the excitement of aerial work with the Alliance Fire Department.
Then, of course, there is yet more music - especially during the Days In The Park and the Grand Parade, which helps to conclude the festivities.
Parking for RibFest and the Days in the Park can be limited, so generally commuters can park in downtown Alliance or one of the city's schools , catching a free bus ride between their vehicle and the event.