Patrons deal with the heat as Grand Carnivale premieres at Valleyfair

Valleyfair’s Grand Carnivale kicked off Saturday, bringing summertime food and fun to Shakopee amid sweltering temperatures.

Patrons made their way to the park regardless of the heat, but staying cool was at the top of everyone’s list.

"We did not plan for extreme heat, but, you know, we’re Valleyfair, so we’re prepared for everything,” Valleyfair spokeswoman Kelsey Megard said.

Valleyfair amusement park was crawling with people, and patrons were riding a heat wave. The temperature was 90 degrees when the gates opened.

“We’ve got the wave. We’ve got the Soak Cannon and Soak City, so if you need to cool off before the parade, we’ve got options for you,” Megard said.

Some were cooling off by snagging a spot in the shade or sipping a cold drink.

Park officials hope the entertainment — including an aerialist, a contortionist and dozens of dancers — will keep people distracted from the heat.

"Everyone is going to be having so much fun. There’s so much to see and do. The heat’s going to be there, but there’s so much to do to have fun — you’ll forget about the heat," Valleyfair Manager of Entertainment Ryan Walton said.

The event allows visitors to take a trip around the world in one sitting by putting spotlights on different cultures and cuisine.

"It is a celebration of cultures from around the world, and we’re so excited to bring this to Minnesota,” Megard said.

The event was slated to kick off last summer, but the pandemic threw a wrench in plans.

"I feel like this event is even more fitting. We’re so excited to bring some fun back to Valleyfair,” Megard said. “It’s Minnesota — you have to make the most of the summertime.”

Grand Carnivale will be at Valleyfair until Aug. 8.