MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — A carnival controversy in Monroe County headed to court Friday afternoon and a judge ruled the carnival had to shut down because it didn’t have the right kind of permit.
Workers are busy taking apart rides, tearing down food stands, and shutting down the carnival on Route 209 near Marshalls Creek after a county judge ordered it to shut down because of lack of permits.
“70 people out of work for this weekend, all the little children in the area won’t have entertainment for tonight and tomorrow,” said property owner John Petrizzo.
The controversy began early this week when the carnival rides arrived. Middle Smithfield Township claimed this property didn’t have the proper permits for a carnival like this. The zoning officer delivered a cease and desist order a few days ago but the carnival continued to open.
Property owner John Petrizzo defended himself in court and argued the rides and games fell under a permit he already had to run a flea market.
Many people in the area say this space just wasn’t ideal for a carnival of this size.
“Totally crammed, everything’s on top of each other, the exhibits, doesn’t look like more than 100 people could be admitted at one time into the spot,” said Martin Niamiec of Bushkill.
“I think it’s a safety hazard. I think the rides are too close together. I think the area’s congested enough, especially on the weekends with the tourists and the church,” said Tammy Rivera of Bushkill.
S&S Amusements, which owns the rides, sets up carnivals throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and says they don’t usually run into trouble like this.
“I don’t want to go through this. I just want to make a living. That’s what I do. I’ve been doing it for 55 years,” said Steve Swika.
A county judge says the carnival must be gone as soon as possible ending the festivities two days early.
Workers began tearing down these rides almost immediately but the owner of S&S Amusements says it took two days to put all of this up, and will probably take about a day and a half to tear it all down.