Continuing its role as the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Carnival Cruise Line held its Sixth Annual Day of Play for patients and their families at the Memphis, Tennessee, hospital.

This year’s theme was “Carnival at the Carnival” with a variety of fun arcade games, face-painting, photo booth, branded giveaways and traditional food like corn dogs, funnel cakes and other delicious treats with entertainment provided by nearly 40 of the line’s cruise directors who were on hand for their annual conference held at the hospital.

Day of Play also marked the debut of the Carnival AirShip, a massive 128-foot-long red, white and blue blimp that’s part of the line’s innovative Homeport Advantage campaign, designed to raise awareness of new cruise ship deployments in several key U.S. markets.  Memphis is the first stop in a 30-day airborne journey that continues in Dallas before heading to Houston visiting homeports in Galveston, New Orleans, Mobile, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville and ending in Atlanta.

Consumers can win free cruises and other prizes when they take a picture or video of the AirShip and post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #ChooseFun. The hashtag also triggers a donation to St. Jude.

In addition to serving as the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude, Carnival has raised more than $16 million for the hospital since the partnership began in 2010.  Monies are raised through fundraising initiatives, both on board and ashore, that includes a fun shipboard dance party called Groove for St. Jude and the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea where kids can build their own stuffed animal with optional accessories with proceeds benefiting the hospital.   Carnival also benefits St. Jude through the sale of sweets on board, including Brownie Buoy ice cream flavor hand-picked by the kids of St. Jude and sold at Carnival Vista’s Cherry on Top shop. Artwork from patients is also permanently displayed on Carnival Horizon’s Dreamscape LED atrium sculpture that debuted during the ship’s naming ceremony honoring St. Jude earlier this year.

In recognition of its innovative efforts at raising funds and awareness for St. Jude, Carnival Cruise Line was named the hospital’s Corporate Partner of the Year in 2018.