Music Festivals

A Day in the Life of a Riot Fest Carny

At noon on Saturday, Riot Fest officially begins for the day, and fans come streaming through the gates. Inside, carny Robert sits at his booth with his back to the entering crowd, enjoying a breakfast of pierogi and cigarettes. His feet up on a stool next to him, his plate under the trigger of a water gun, Robert looks utterly relaxed-- just a man having breakfast on his front porch.

Robert's booth, Balloon A-Rama, is just one piece of Riot Fest's sideshow. It fits in with the Ferris wheel and tilt-a-whirl, the funnel cakes and freak show. All day long it will provide a place for stoned teenagers and drunk moms to take a break from the music and enjoy some carnival fun straight from childhood.

See also: The Rides of Riot Fest, Ranked

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Courtney Harrell writes for Westword and University of Colorado Denver, telling stories of people and the things they do.
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