It's a "shore" sign of spring in Fairfield.

The Jennings Beach parking lot was transformed into a magical place Thursday evening as the McKinley Elementary School PTA kicked off its weekend-long Spring Carnival.

The event traditionally inaugurates the springtime season of fairs, carnivals and community celebrations of all sorts.

This year, the McKinley Carnival features 18 rides, according to Gene Hoffman, the event co-chairman, including popular draws like the Dino ride, bumper cars, the Cliff Hanger, the Scrambler, Zero Gravity, Ali Baba and Rip Cord.

Other attractions include ChiliBomb offering hamburgers, hot dogs and chili; vendors selling fried dough and funnel cakes, and interactive games like Whac-A-Mole.

The McKinley Carnival continues at Jennings Beach through the weekend.

Hours are: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For $23, visitors can get an unlimited rides wristband Friday night; for 1 to 6 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.