When you think about the Upper East Side, your mind probably skips to poodles and pearls more readily than a 19th century militia headquarters, but the Park Avenue Armory is just that: a huge, staid space with a 55,000 square foot drill hall, now re-purposed as an arts center. This weekend, the building played host to Carnival, a sort of combination state fair and circus, bringing the glitz and glorious kitsch of Coney Island to Manhattanites. There were jugglers, stilt-walkers, hyperactive children on elephant rides, and, of course, plenty of cotton candy. Check out our photos of the festival, which runs through tonight, after the jump.
Crowds lined up for the balloon race, hoping to win that coveted stuffed Elmo.
The centerpiece of the Carnival was this Ferris wheel, festooned in pink neon and decorated with hanging arrows.
This hula hooper must have set some sort of record for longest time continuously hula-ing. Other entertainment on the stages included a fire-eater and a juggler.
This whirling dervish of a ride made the corner of the armory feel like something out of a Terry Gilliam film.
The elephant ride was a popular enough choice that the line often wrapped around the railing several times over.
A mirrored fun-house — complete with cut-outs — was mobbed my gleeful toddlers pretending to be Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Our personal favorite was this towering indoor fun slide, perfect for racing downhill.
The ringmaster provided a running commentary that echoed quietly in the background amid the roar of the rides.
Face-painted munchkins run around the stilt-walkers trying (unsuccessfully) to find their kneecaps.
Near the stage, a crew of kids try their hand at hula-hooping.