During the summertime, the carnivals, fairs, and seasonal attractions are the main course, but the carnival cuisine is the enticing dessert that you can never pass up.

Ferris Wheels and caramel apples are a match made in heaven. Not to mention that smell of freshly popped popcorn that fills the air.

Due to COVID-19, the SouthCoast had to miss out on those treats that are reserved for summertime events – until now. This year, Ann Marie’s Candy has taken its station from its usual spot amongst fairs and carnivals and have located on Route 44 in Rehoboth for everyone to enjoy.

Iann Burke had high hopes for the summer of 2020. A third-generation concessionaire, Burke runs Ann Marie’s Candies, started by his grandparents in the 1950s. Burke and several of his family members have been in the fair/festival business for years, offering all different kinds of food and candy exhibits at events all over New England.

He explained to me how June is usually when the fair/festival season begins, and he stays busy until the end of October, but COVID-19 put a serious wrench in the plans.

“This left us and our patrons stranded,” he said. “We saw a need in the community."

Burke knew that people missed the carnival atmosphere and delicious treats that accompany them, so he took matters into his own hands and set up his concession on Route 44. The response from the community, he said, has been incredible.

“With 600 shares (on social media) and counting, we had people come from as far as Newport to support us and I’m so thankful for that," he said. "People have been traveling from all over to get a little slice of the carnival/country fair experience.”

If you’ve been craving your annual sno-cone, Ann Marie’s Candies will be open Friday through Sunday, 12-7 p.m. for the month of August at 187 Winthrop Street in Rehoboth.

“If the turnout continues, we will open on Saturday and Sunday in September as well," Burke said.

We may be missing out on fairs and carnivals, but thanks to Ann Marie’s Candies, we can at least treat ourselves to the summer fare we have come to enjoy each year.

KEEP READING: It's Not Summer on the SouthCoast Until You've Eaten These

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