AP PHOTOS: Romania’s autumn fairs delight all ages, incomes

Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_67048 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, a ride is lit up before the start of an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_02368 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, rides are backdropped by the sunset sky at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_84999 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, people enjoy a swing ride at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_31438 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, with a slow shutter speed, a little girl holds her hair while ridding in a merry go round at an autumn fair in Rosiorii de Vede, southern RomaniaRomania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_54602 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, people enjoy a ride at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_26580 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, a child jumps on a trampoline at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_79808 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, a man tests his strength at a boxing power punch machine at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_24844 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, a girl carries a little boy by a merry go round at a fair in Calarasi, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_36721 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, a child laughs while on a ride at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_93336 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, an attendant waits for swing ride customers at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_19642 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, a small child runs by as a man adjusts a lights of a ride at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_06690 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, an attendant adjusts his hat while waiting for customers near a shooting stand at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_43861 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, shot with a slow shutter speed, people enjoy a swing ride at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_99770 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, children, one wearing a tiger mask, sit at a table in the food area of an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_65559 In this picture taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, a child holds Fete, a small dog, at a target shooting stand at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_65033 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, a little girl holds a toy at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Romania_Autumn_Fairs_Photo_Gallery_04974 In this picture taken Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, a little girl points to a toy stand at an autumn fair in Titu, southern Romania. Romania's autumn fairs are a loud and colorful reminder that summer has come to an end and, for many families in poorer areas of the country, one of the few affordable public entertainment events of the year. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
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TITU, Romania (AP) — Romania’s autumn fairs are a loud, colorful reminder that summer has come to an end. And for many families in poorer areas of the country, they are one of the few affordable events of the year.

Fairs like the one in Titu, northwest of Bucharest, which is on its 187th edition, were the sole public entertainment in 19th-century rural Romania. It’s a bit more high-tech nowadays, but otherwise little has changed in two centuries.

Thousands flock to fields outside small cities, where entertainment areas are set up from mid-week until the weekend.

Music and flashing lights strike visitors on arrival at the fairground, which is constantly engulfed in smoke from the food grills and an endless mix of food flavors.

Nowadays, music blasts from large speakers at deafening levels, featuring trendy pop songs from international bands or techno versions of Romanian popular songs.

Entertainers scream at the top of their lungs to advertise the rides, painted in a kitsch style with images of famous action movie actors like Vin Diesel or performers like Michael Jackson.

While younger people focus on the fairground rides and games, the elderly take advantage of the markets, stocking up on winter supplies of fruits, vegetables and other household items available at lower prices than in Romania’s mainstream shops.

Romania, a nation of 19.4 million, is located on the Black Sea in southeastern Europe. It is one of the poorest members of the 28-nation European Union and has struggled to fight rampant corruption.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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