More vendors, along with absolutely gorgeous weather, can prove to be quite the prerequisite for success.

Perhaps that best explains why this year's Crusaders For A Cause Carnival was able to get off to such a sublime start on Thursday.

The seventh annual event kicked off in a big way in the Palmerton Borough Park, as many a child took advantage of a rides discount as part of the Kids Ride Special Day.

Kelly Avery, of Whitehall, said she and her son, Dylan Avery, 3, attended the event for the first time and gave it a thumbs up.

"So far, so good," Kelly Avery said. "He [Dylan] loves it."

Leanna Altemose, of Palmerton, also spoke highly of the event she attended with her son, Austin Rehrig, 2.

"It's bigger this time," Altemose said. "I like it."

Across the park, a group of Palmerton Area youth took a moment to enjoy some good old-fashioned treats.

Both Cody Vick, 13, and Nathan Miller, 11, said the french fries and funnel cake were their favorites, while Austin Smith, 12, said he likes the prizes that can be won.

The beautiful weather, coupled with more things to do, is what led to the splendid start, according to Larry Zawaly, treasurer of the organization.

"It's good weather," Zawaly said. "Some vendors said they already sold more tonight then they did last year."

The four-day event continues tonight from 5-11, Saturday, from 4-11, and Sunday, from 2-7.

Headlined by Fret Prodigy Studios of Palmerton, tonight's entertainment will include a performance by Rehab X and The Leaders of the Press.

On Saturday, Senile Delinquents will provide entertainment, with Modern Day Mollys and Barcode set to perform on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, there will be another Kids Ride Special Day. A duck race will be held at 3 p.m.

The carnival has various food vendors, crafting vendors, and a display courtesy of Christina's Reptile & Animal Sanctuary.

Proceeds from this year's event will go toward various local charities, organizers said.

Crusaders For A Cause was incorporated in May, 2009, under the Non-Profit Corporation Law of 1988 as amended, to help raise money for various charities.

Those charities include Relay For Life/American Cancer Society, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, March of Dimes, and many other community causes or projects.

For more information on Crusaders For A Cause, visit www.crusaders4acause.mysite.com.