One of Charlottesville's most popular events got off to a big start Thursday night. Hundreds gathered to celebrate the 65th annual Dogwood Festival with the carnival kickoff in McIntire Park.
People have been filing in all night to enjoy the games, the rides, and of course some quality time with friends and family.
"The best part about it is little kids that get to come over here and have a bunch of fun with big smiles on their face,” said Barry Owens.
People of all ages took advantage of the games and the rides. The smaller ones stuck to the merry-go-round and the thrill-seekers made a beeline to the faster rides.
“I'm looking forward to going on the Rainbow. It goes up really high then drops down so it's going to be very fun,” said Ana Karoliussen.
One group of teenagers says they headed to the carnival because it's a fun place to spend some time together. It’s also a convenient place.
"I like it being really close because then you don't have to hear your parents complain about how much gas it is,” Patrice Watkins said.
The carnival is a fun and convenient spring kickoff for everyone.
"It's inexpensive and a good place to take the kids,” said Jeremy Donnelly.
Friday night's events include a fireworks display and a pork barbecue dinner. But if you're more of a thrill-seeker, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday are arm band days, when you can pay $20 and ride as much as you'd like.