While many fairs, concerts, and festivals were cancelled this year, an annual carnival in Warren County was not.
The carnival hosted by Kissel Entertainment is taking place through Saturday.
Office manager Madison Kissel said since the county fair was cancelled, it was important to host the carnival.
“We were still scheduled to come into town, so we asked if we could rent the fairgrounds just like any other event would-like auctions or anything like that,” Kissel said. “They were able to rent the fairgrounds to us so we could hold the carnival still and provide a little bit or normalcy to the community.”
Kissel said all staff received specialized health training. All team members are required to wear masks, check temperatures before starting each shift, sanitize rides before and after each use, and wash their hands often. For carnival attendees free masks and gloves are available, directional arrows and spaced waiting areas in queues are placed, and hand sanitizing stations are available.
Social distancing is implemented on several rides with seats blocked off. Kissel said parents should buckle their own children with ride supervision.
“We also have a sanitizing crew that walks around throughout the night sanitizing major touch points like the benches or the hand rails or anything like that,” Kissel said. “So you’ll see team members walking around with backpacks and spray bottles, just spraying things down and sanitizing them.”
Operating hours have changed to provide ample time for carnival employees to sanitize everything. Kissel asks guests for patience and consideration.
“People don’t realize the extensive measures and precautions that we’re taking in order to keep our family and our team members safe and also the guests safe,” Kissel said. “Safety has always been our priority, and its even more amplified this year onto a different level.”
With hosting a carnival during a pandemic, there has been some community push back. Kissel said usually after she explains the plethora of safety precautions crew members are implementing, the push back is weaker. She said the Warren County community has overall been supportive and loving.
“We’ve grown to love Warren County. We’ve been here for multiple years now,” Kissel said. “People understand this isn’t just a corporation. It’s not just some carnival company that’s coming in you know the day before, and we’ll be gone in a week and that’s the last you see or hear of us. This is like our hometown.”
Kissel Entertainment has hosted carnivals for Warren County since 2013.