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Local carny begs Richmond council for festival spot

April 19th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Shayna Marcur

RICHMOND –Tuesday’s City Council meeting opened with a prayer and  soft words spoken of Monday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon. “This is just a reminder to all of us of how important it is to keep communities united. This tragedy has tugged at our heartstrings,” Councilman Jeff Young said.

He went on, “So many people came together, and so quickly, with all of our beliefs aside, political, religious, all of that went away and we came together for a common belief. That is hope. I see that here in Richmond.”

Richmond, though a small city, is a very tight-knit community with many aspirations for upcoming events, including their annual Black and White Days.

Residents will be meeting May 4 in front of the Black and White Days building for the annual city clean up. “This is to prepare the town for Black and White days,” said Councilman Paul Erickson. “If you bring back one garbage bag full of waste, you get a lunch ticket. We’ll have burgers and dogs at the park.”

Dave Gordon, local carnival owner and entrepreneur, sought the council’s approval for a four-night open carnival and block party during the third week of Black and White Days, beginning May 14 and running through May 18. The Council shared a number of concerns, almost all of which Gordon was able to put to rest.

Councilman Young, who also heads the Black and White Days committee, expressed his worry that the carnival, which includes multiple larger-scale rides, such as a small roller coaster and bumper boats, would take away from the events located on the other side of town, as well as from the Lion’s Club.

“I don’t take away from events because I don’t sell food, I don’t sell toys, I don’t sell crafts. I only add the thing that they are looking for, I give kids rides,” Gordon said. He mentioned that he is accustomed to giving a percentage of profits to other organizations that may feel at a disadvantage due to his carnival.

Gordon also lightened the worry about “spooking” the horses that will be visiting for the horse pulls on May 18. “A lot of the time my carnival is set up at rodeos, horse races, fairs, places where there are horses. I have never had any problems with horses and the lights and noise.”

After discussion and negotiation, the council decided on a location more fit for a carnival site, the northeast corner of 100 South and 100 West St.
Gordon said his carnival is insured under a $1 million policy that is renewed every year. His rides are inspected every year,  to meet Colorado’s ride-safety program’s expectations. Utah has no ride-safety program, according to Gordon.

Young plans to contact the Lion’s Club for approval of the carnival within the week.

“People are usually begging me to a part of their event. This is the first time I’ve had to beg to be a part of an event,” Gordon said. “I live in your town, I go to your ward. I know carnies can have a bad name, but yes, I am a Mormon carny and this would be a great opportunity for me.”


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