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Today, the urban legends are locals trying to improve their game on one of Encanto's three full courts. The complex, which also houses volleyball and racquetball courts, is open Mondays through Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Equipment checkout is available, and admission is always free.
The store stocks all the best traditional party goods -- enough paper goods to throw a palm-tree-themed party for 100, confetti in all sorts of shapes and a large costume shop with clown gear galore. But our favorite part was the back warehouse, which you have to ask about. When you do, a staff member will helpfully offer you paper and pencil to record your purchases, and leave you alone (there's no air conditioning back there, so who could blame her?) in the dim room, stocked with Santas waiting for the right season and the aforementioned boxes of carnival goods.
We dug for what seemed like days, never reaching the end but stuffing our basket with harmonicas, oversize sunglasses and kewpie dolls in assorted poses. We found blow-up guitars and oversize, glittered "microphones" for a sock hop, and enough plastic crap to satisfy our carnival cravings for good.
Whatcha doin' next Saturday?