The annual Explorer Fun Fest opens today with a variety of carnival rides and games with profits benefiting Wayne County youth.

The festival each year is a fundraiser for the Goldsboro Police Department's Law Enforcement Explorer Post 209, a program for young men and women interested in a career in law enforcement.

The festival opens at 6 p.m. tonight and continues through Sunday, in the former Kmart parking lot, at 201 N. Berkeley Blvd.

Carnival hours are 6 to 10 p.m. today and Thursday, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

A $20 wristband special for unlimited rides will be available today and Sunday, and must be purchased one hour prior to opening, The wristbands will offer ride access today from 6 to 10 p.m. and from 2 to 6 p.m. Ride tickets will also be sold each day.

Proceeds from the carnival will go toward the Explorer Post's trip to the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference, July 16-20, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

"This is a fundraiser for the post and it will mostly benefit their trip to the conference," Ball said.

"It's just a fun time for the family and, at the same time, they're helping our Explorer program, which is primarily for youth interested in law enforcement a a career.

"They're helping build our future law enforcement officers."

The Law Enforcement Explorer program is a worksite-based opportunity for young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20. The program not only exposes youth to hands-on career experiences but also promotes the growth and development of youth, with a focus on character development, leadership and building teamwork skills.

Anyone interested in the program can contact Ball at