CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Dozens of students – many from low-income households – enjoyed a special visit to the Dogwood Carnival on Tuesday.

Volunteers opened up the carnival early just for the group of preschool students, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to visit.

“Out of all the Dogwood Festival events, this is my absolute favorite,” said Dogwood board member Jenne Garrett.

The students enjoyed a day of rides, prizes, and pizza. They had the carnival all to themselves – with no long lines or ride limits.

Dogwood volunteers opened the carnival early just for the students to enjoy for free.

“As soon as they get here, they can get on whatever [age-appropriate] ride they want…however many times they would like,” Garrett said.

The fun came at no cost to parents and a few stuck around to see their kids enjoying the carnival.

“It’s not packed and they’re having a good time with their age group and it’s just perfect for them,” said parent Queznay Waller. “It makes me feel great to see them having a good time on the rides and interacting.”

Volunteers, including Garrett, say they look forward to this event every year.

The students got unlimited passes onto all of the age-appropriate rides and games.

“I feel that these kids leave here knowing that people care about them and are giving them something to look forward to every year,” Garrett said.

Only a portion of the carnival rides that were deemed age appropriate were open to the kids. The Carnival is open to the public Tuesday night starting at 5:30 p.m. at McIntire Park.