Free carnival brings plenty of smiles - FOX 13 News

Free carnival brings plenty of smiles

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

You can hear the excitement in their voices and their smiles tell the whole story.

"They talk about this for months sometimes even a couple of months. Last year they talked about it for the year," said Deborah Patterson.

Patterson's family includes 2 adopted and three foster children.

They joined 10,000 other kids and parents experiencing carnival rides, games and food all for free.

"It is a great feeling when you see some of these kids that are in situations family or other wise where they just don't have the opportunity or the other means to come to the fair or other festivals," said Florida State Fair Authority Executive Director Chuck Pesano.

The carnival experience is put on by Frank Zatishik.

"It was something I could do well and its something I wanted to give back to the community," he said.

Zatishik owns Wade Shows, a carnival company.

He dreamed of putting on a free carnival for disadvantaged kids for years.

With help from the Florida State Fair Authority his dream is a reality.

"You don't know what they've been through or are going through, but what you do know is when they come out here and smile and have fun its a positive experience that they can take back to their every day life experiences," he said.

It is a few hours one day each year families have to focus on fun.

"It makes it even so much more special for them," said Patterson.

She is thankful for the smiles her kids have gained.

"Seeing those smiles we just know its the right thing," said Pesano.

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