Life is a Carnival - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Life is a Carnival

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Hundreds of families hit downtown Waterloo for the last hours of My Waterloo Days. Sunday is the final day for the downtown carnival, but for the men and women who run the rides and games, this is just the beginning of summer on the road.

When they pack up in Waterloo, they're on to the next show. It's not a life everyone can handle, but once you're in, you're family.

Whether you're four, or forty, you can't help but smile as you walk through the classic games, rides, and food stands. And then, there's the unmistakable sound of guys like Jim Moore.

"To tell you the truth, I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. Felt like an outcast, and when I first started the business was a bunch of outcasts," said Moore.

Moore has seen a lot of change in his three decades working on the road. For example, younger guys like Kevin Erler are joining the show.

"I tell everybody, they can play over here because they're still kids, no matter how old you are," Erler said.

Oh, and now you can actually win the games. But the life on the road does not get any easier over time.

"Oh, it's hard. This can be a hard life. There's times when I have 72 hour days...that's a lot of pressure, mentally, physically, not everybody can handle that," said Moore.

So, you might ask, what draws new workers or keeps guys like Moore coming back? Well the pay is good, but it's the kids who make carnival life great.

"when I get little kids like these guys playing, one of them wins, I hand them their prize, never fails, their face lights up and you could light up the world with it," said Moore.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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