Back by popular demand, the carnival returned to Nebraska City during the Fourth of July weekend.
The lights of the carnival rides complimented the brilliant fireworks exploding into the dark sky, making its return a true celebration.
After years of the carnival not making an appearance in Nebraska City during the Fourth of July, the Nebraska City Chamber of Commerce decided that it was time to bring it back.
“Our office is always receiving feedback on events. A consistent is, ‘Why can’t we have a carnival on the Fourth of July like we used to?’” Amy Allgood of the chamber said. “After looking into it we decided that we would partner with the Nebraska City Jaycees and the city and give Nebraska City citizens what they have been asking for.”
The Red, White, and Boom! Carnival may have been a smaller venue, but it was a welcome treat to the town’s Fourth of July festivities.
Like many residents, Allgood remembers going to the Fourth of July carnival during her childhood.
“I remember going to the carnival with my family over the Fourth and then with my friends as I got a little older, and I’m excited to be able to allow the youth of Nebraska City, as well as guests to our community over the holiday weekend the chance to create those memories as well,” Allgood said.
Chris Adkins of Nebraska City also remembers going to the carnival in the 1980s and happy for its return to the Home of Arbor Day.
“When I was growing up … the Fourth of July carnival came every year. It was one of the main things kids looked forward to all summer,” Adkins said. “It was just part of summertime in Nebraska City. Glad to see it is back.”  
Cari Godsey of the Nebraska City Jaycees said the carnival was a great addition to the weekend festivities.
“We are excited to have the carnival back in town on the Fourth of July,” Godsey said. “This adds a fun activity for the children and makes an already great event even better.”
Thomas Thomas of Thomas D. Thomas Shows, who is in charge of the carnival, was in Nebraska City June 26 to check out carnival’s location beforehand to determine which rides could fit in the area. The carnival was located in the gravel parking lot north of the Clemmy Holmes Field in Steinhart Park.
Thomas D. Thomas Shows, based out of Fullerton, brought the carnival to Nebraska City during AppleJack weekend in September, and travels all of the state of Nebraska and a little bit into Iowa.
Thomas Thomas’ father, Thomas Thomas, is the owner of the business. Thomas Thomas said his family has run a carnival since 1936.
His grandfather, Dale Thomas, owned Dale T. Thomas Shows.  
“My grandfather used to come to Nebraska City for the Fourth of July carnival,” he said.
Thomas Thomas and Allgood don’t know how long it’s been since the carnival has been in town for the Fourth of July, but they both said that it’s been “a long time.”
Allgood said the chamber also wanted to bring the carnival to town to also benefit the annual Jaycees Fireworks Display.
“(The carnival) will be used as a fundraiser for the Nebraska City Jaycees fireworks show,” Allgood said. “We have one of the best shows around and this is another way to ensure that funding is in place for the future.”
Godsey said the carnival is a win-win for the community and the Jaycees.
“The carnival proceeds will help with the cost of the fireworks display,” she said.
Godsey added June 30, that the Jaycees operate the new fireworks stand Wild Willy’s located on South 11th Street, across from the El Portal Mexican Restaurant and former Alco store parking lot.
“The Jaycees are also excited with the business the Wild Willy’s fireworks stand is getting,” she said June 30. “And we would like to thank the community for shopping with us.”  
The carnival ran from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
The carnival, however, didn’t operate during the Jaycees Fireworks Display because of safety reasons and to give people a chance to enjoy the Fireworks Display.
The road going through Steinhart was closed during the Fourth of July festivities as a safety precaution for visitors.
The carnival featured rides such as: the Happy Swing, The ParaTrooper, a roller coaster, a carousel, the motorcycle ride, Dizzy Dragons, a bouncy house and The Tornado.
Thomas Thomas hoped that community enjoyed the carnival. From seeing the gleaming faces of children and hearing their screams, it appeared that the carnival was a blast.
Brothers Hayden Beccard, 11, Nolan Beccard, 9, and Damian Beccard, 5, all of Nebraska City were leaving swim lessons at the swimming pool Wednesday morning and saw the carnival rides resting on trailers near the baseball field.
“Oohh, the Tornado!” Hayden Beccard shouted as he walked past the rides that had yet to be set up.
The Tornado ride is Hayden and Nolan Beccard’s favorite carnival ride.
“Because it spins around really fast and I’ve seen a lot of people barf on it. So I think that’s pretty amazing,” Hayden Beccard said.
Nolan Beccard was also happy that the carnival was in town.
“I like rides that spin,” he said.
Damian Beccard, however, likes the rides that swing “because it’s fun.” He was anxious to try out the Happy Swing ride.
The Jaycees Fireworks Display wrapped up the Fourth of July festivities with the vibrant display of lights and colors fizzling, cracking, booming and banging above the heads of spectators.