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The Carnival Comes to Town

Thrills on wheels arrives in Mill Valley Tuesday afternoon, taking over the basketball courts at the Mill Valley Middle School in advance of Friday's kick-off to the blockbuster Kiddo!-themed weekend.

For the first time since 2004, the Carnival came to town late Tuesday afternoon, just in time for what looks like a sun-soaked, fun-filled weekend party celebrating the 30th anniversary of Kiddo! and its support for local public schools.

At least 17 rides, from the Berry-Go-Round and Tune Train for little ones to the Sizzler, Zipper, Tilt-A-Whirl and Texas Tornado, arrived on wheels from the Sacramento-based California Carnival Company. The fleet of trucks and RVs waited in the parking lot under the Richardson Bay Bridge Tuesday afternoon before beginning installation Tuesday evening.

Advance $15 ticket books are available in the office through May 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at the from 3 to 6 p.m. on those days. Ticket books are $25 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games are extra.

The four-day event is Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is one of a number of events throughout the weekend culminating in a Memorial Day chock full of food, drink and entertainment.

The Memorial Day events kick off with the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association’s Annual Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. outside the main fire station and City Hall on Corte Madera Avenue.

The parade, whose theme this year is “Our Kids, Our Schools, Our Future,” kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at , winding its way through downtown and down Miller Ave. before ending at . (Click here for info about applying for a float in the parade and additional details.)

When the float riders, school bands, dignitaries and a bevy of youth groups head to the Community Center after the parade, they’ll have a slew of activities to navigate.

That includes a free  on the fields of the  from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tommy Castro & the PainkillersDanny Click & the Hell YeahsThe 85's, local teen phenom  and the Mill Valley Middle School Jazz Band are all set to perform at the concert. That event, being organized by the owners of the , will also feature beer and wine from other local vendors.

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