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Needham Carnival wheels into town

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Needhamites in search of some local summer fun had to look no further than Needham High School last weekend, as the much-anticipated Needham Carnival ran through July 24. Brought to town by the Rotary Club, games, rides, and food of all kinds were available to the public with no admission fee; carnival-goers were free to roam, play, and enjoy at their own pace throughout the weekend. 

“Everybody here is happy and smiling. Except when the parents are bringing their kids home, they don’t want to leave!” explained Ted Shaughnessy of the Needham Rotary Club, which teamed up with Cushing Entertainment for the annual carnival. Agreeing that these childlike whimsical events bring immeasurable happiness to town, he marveled at the Ferris wheel: “That Ferris wheel was custom made in Italy. It took two years to make. When it was brought here, it was only the second one in the United States.” 

The Ferris wheel was one of the main attractions for good reason. Moby Dick, a swinging sea-themed ride, also had thrill-seekers screaming with laughter. Given all the rides for kids, families, there was no shortage of fun. 

When they weren't enjoying the thrill rides, families cooled off with lemonade and sweet treats. Fried Oreos, chicken fingers, and candy apples were for sale at several booths at the outdoor carnival. 

Friends sat in the shade and challenged one another to compete in games for some fantastic prizes. Classic stuffed animals were a favorite as children proudly walked around toting rainbow koala bears twice their size. Bigger prizes, like air fryers and hoverboards, could be won at games like Shoot Out the Star. Rubber duck fishing and bottle toss were also popular amongst families as they played to win.

With members of the community out in droves, the weather playing ball, and plenty of fun to be had, the latest edition of the Needham Carnival was a massive success.

The Needham Carnival and many other events are made possible by the Rotary Club. Further information about the club can be found at

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