Three boys stand at a concession stand ordering window below large signs that say "cotton candy" and "popcorn"

Richmond Has Fun at RPAL Carnival

Three boys stand at a concession stand ordering window below large signs that say "cotton candy" and "popcorn"

What carnival would be complete without some traditional fair fare? Hungry folks at the RPAL carnival could enjoy foods like funnel cake, corn dogs and, yes, cotton candy and popcorn.

Story and photos by Mitzi Pérez-Caro

Richmond celebrated over Father’s Day Weekend with the Richmond Police Activities Juneteenth Carnival.

The RPAL carnival began in 2017 as a back-to-school event and fundraiser for the organization. Since then, it has grown to encompass Juneteenth as well.

“The Juneteenth Carnival became an idea when RPAL and the Juneteenth committee thought it would be great exposure to connect both events and make an even bigger opportunity for the families in the community,” RPAL’s Dawn Moultrie told the Pulse in an email.

Hundreds of people visited the carnival from June 16-18. On the last night of the carnival alone, about 250 people were in attendance.

The carnival featured activities for the whole family, including a funhouse, a glass house and rides like an accelerated drop, a Ferris wheel, a chair swing ride, carousels, bumper cars and a Gravitron — a spinning wheel in which centrifugal force allows riders to be supported by the walls of the ride.

While it was a Richmond community event, the carnival drew people from elsewhere in the East Bay as well.

Alex Fenn, a teacher from Berkeley, brought her daughter and her friend after her daughter heard about the carnival.

Richmond also honored Juneteenth with a parade starting at the Booker T. Anderson Center and ending with a festival at Nicholl Park on June 17.

“I went to the other Juneteenth event. I would love to see this every year and every month. I would like to see more fun rides,” said Angel Boughton of Richmond, referring to the festival.


Boughton’s younger sister, Falacia, joined her party at the carnival. Falacia, an RPAL member, talked about her favorite ride, the Rip Cord.

“I like the drop. I was like 50 feet,” she said.


Families also played games such as balloon darts, ring toss, basketball and fish hook for prizes.

Jeb Verr and his family were passing by when they saw the carnival. “We had a lot of fun,” they said in unison.


“My friends at RPAL did a presentation on [the carnival],” said Samiah Gonzalez who came with her sister and cousin.

Groups of all ages, including teens and young families, teens enjoyed a fairly windy but clear evening near the Civic Center. According to the carnival workers there were nothing but good vibes from the attendees.

“I saw [the carnival] from my house,” said Damair Davis. I’m here with my grandma.”

He said he was planning to ride the Ferris wheel and wished others well.

“I hope everyone has a good Juneteenth,” Davis said.

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