Carnival family ‘home’ in Warrnambool again

CHRISTINE Woodall’s family has heard all the rumours about how tough and streetwise carnival workers are.

But her three sons aren’t worried about having a reputation to live up to.

“We’re lovers, not fighters,” they quip with the cheeky humour learnt through decades of working the public.

Ms Woodall is the fifth generation of a carnival and circus family while her partner Emile Verfurth snr is a fourth generation “carnie”.

She is proud the Warrnambool Family Carnival, which opened last night, is a family affair with three sons working in the business.

It has been coming to Warrnambool for 30 years and its 32-day annual run in the city is the longest stint it spends anywhere in its annual journey along Australia’s eastern seaboard and Adelaide.

The carnival arrives in early December during the off-season from the agricultural show circuit.

Living on site, the family has a few weeks’ break before the carnival opens on Boxing Day.

“Warrnambool is our second home,” Ms Woodall said.

She said the carnival provided a happy atmosphere and remained popular because it kept its prices down “to make it good fun”.

Ms Woodall said the adrenalin rush of the Hangover ride, which tips passengers upside down, ensured it remained popular with young men but the carnival had rides that appealed to people of all ages.

“The Cha Cha is back this year by popular demand,” she said.

Ms Woodall said her itinerant carnival lifestyle had enabled her to make lifetime friends across the nation.

The family and four full-time employees are the mainstay of the carnival’s workforce but it also employs a number of Warrnambool locals during its stay.

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