Ryon Memorial Park was bursting with life as the town celebrated a near return to pre-COVID times at the kickoff of Lompoc's spring carnival on Thursday afternoon. The carnival continues through Sunday. 

Crowds of parents gathered at the ticket booth to purchase ride tickets and wristbands, while others followed behind gleeful children who made a beeline for the carnival rides and prize-winning game booths. 

Many attendees saved their appetites to sample from a centrally located food booth peddling traditional fare: cotton candy, funnel cake, nachos and corn dogs.

The event featured a number of rides, including a giant slide for attendees both big and small, a Ferris wheel, a giant swing ride that rotates in a wavelike motion and whirly ride, Sizzler.  

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Chay Cadwet, 4, drives a Baja Jumping Buggies car during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

This year's springtime carnival was presented by traveling amusement company Paul Maurer Shows of Huntington Beach.

Access to the event is free and open to the public.

Individual ride tickets are $1 each or 24 tickets for $20. Kiddie rides require three tickets, family rides four tickets, and special rides are five tickets. 

Wristbands can be purchased on-site during the event for $35 per person.

The hours of operation are as follows: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. 

All riders will be required to wear a mask in accordance with COVID-19 precautions.

Photos: Lompoc Carnival opens at Ryon Park

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Olivia Hernandez and Angel Jimenez hang on the Silver Streak ride Thursday during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc.

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Chay Cadwet, 4, drives a Baja Jumping Buggies car during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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Olivia Bristol, 12, tries a shaved ice treat during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday.

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Patrons line up for food during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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The Freak Out ride spins near a carousel during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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A’zariah Arevelos, 4, nets a rubber duck during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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A prize winner waits in line during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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A young rider waits her turn during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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The Deluxe Sizzler spins during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

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Riders spin on the Kite Flyer during the spring carnival at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc on Thursday evening.

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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