Each year, hundreds of Wash U students work together to put on a three-day carnival for the St. Louis community at the corner of Skinker and Forest Park Parkway. Dozens of student groups create fun booths, attractions, and facades for people of all ages.
This year marked the 110th anniversary of the ThurtenE Carnival, and theme was “Picture Perfect: Capture the Memories that Last a Lifetime.” All of the net proceeds from the carnival this year will be donated to the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, a nonprofit organization which benefits the lives of foster children by recruiting and supporting foster and adoptive families in the community.
After going to ThurtenE for the third year in a row, I have gathered four pieces of advice for everyone to have a most exciting and memorable experience! See below for a quick Snapchat video of one of the rides and some awesome tips!
1) Check the weather beforehand and prepare for at least two hours.
One of the most important tips I have is to dress for the weather and prepare for any major changes that might happen within the span of two hours This year, I went around noon and left around 2 pm. While I was walking toward Brookings, the sky was a bit cloudy, so I did not feel the heat. Within 30 minutes, however, the sun came out and it was perfect weather for sunglasses, cold water, and tying my hair in a ponytail. Always bring enough items in your bag so that no matter what happens, you can stay in the carnival stress-free.
2) Head toward the food before the rides.
This tip is a bit cliché, but trust me, I have supporting evidence! You may think that eating before rides will make you feel sick after going on them, but in between getting food and going on the rides, you will have time to digest. I bought ice cream and hot dogs before going on three rides. Usually, people grab hotdogs, burgers, and funnel cakes *after* two hours of hanging out in the carnival. This is when the lines get ridiculously long for both the rides and the tickets (especially when many kids finish their morning activities and head toward ThurtenE).
3) Don’t be afraid to visit all the booths!
One of the most surprising things happened to me this year. I went to a booth near the entrance from Mastercard because the representatives were handing out free bags. In addition to getting a free bag, I also randomly received a basket full of goodies for finals week! Point of the story is, no matter how weird a booth may be, it never hurts to go there to talk with the people. Who knows, you might win a basket too!
4) Give out your extra tickets!
In the end, if you have any extra tickets before leaving, hand them out to other kids at the carnival. This will make their day. This year, my friends and I had around 15 extra tickets for rides. At the end, we gave them all away to others in the park instead of throwing them out. Rides require tickets ranging from 3-5, and a few extra tickets means one extra ride for someone! Please don’t throw tickets away.
Anyways, I hope these tips are helpful for anyone who might want to visit ThurtenE next year! I had so much fun this year, and cannot wait to come back again next year.