Shut It Down: Judge Orders Carnival To Close Over Lack Of Permits

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.


  • Greg B.

    Seriously? He thought a $75 permit to set up a table at a ******* Flea Market means he could set up an entire carnival? With RIDES? 35 years in the business, yet? C’mon…all you people complaining that he’s being picked on must apparently be OK with letting your kids ride on carnival rides that weren’t even inspected in any way…wow.

    • semore

      I guess Greg B doesn’t know that Petrizzo is the property owner. Not a tenant. Look things up before making stupid comments.

  • semore

    Typical PA corruption yet again. Instead of giving the land owner the option of paying the permit fee or the carnival goes, another corrupt judge sides with his buddies. I only make this statement because I’ve heard about this township from family. Hopefully the feds show up eventually.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    It’s really no different than elementary school tattle-taleing. Some brat running off to tattle to the judge over some permit and the over zealous hall monitor issuing cease and desist. It’s really no different.

  • George V

    Petrizzo has to be a fool! I mean really, you arrange to have this “Carnival” set up… but BEFORE doing so, you don’t make a call to the town and see EXACTLY what kind of permit you need? How dumb/ignorant can you be… no really… a simple $75 permit…but yet he “ASSumes” he has the right one, what a JO. Hard to believe this guy Petrizzo owns and operates a restaurant not far from this site. Oh well, now he will just have to be happy charging the big rigs that park there overnight as well as the hot dog vendor and the guy selling t-shirts ( Unless he owns the dog/t-shirt stands). Wake up Petrizzo

  • mdog

    F R A C K That ! State Parks to ! PA. is a frigid place to be. Give the land and fun to the kids already.

  • jhosk

    This is a revolting development, as Chester Riley often said with exasperation on the 50`s television broadcast “The Life of Riley.” Better planning should have been utilized here, methinks. I`m disappointed. I dislike seeing all the hard work involved in setting up the carnival was all for naught. I do not covet seeing wasted effort. Do you follow me?

  • bobc74

    ‘”All the little children won’t have entertainment tonight and tomorrow”. I bet he also doesn’t have a permit to run a daycare service either. Maybe he should let the parents worry about their own children.

  • Proud American

    Permits ?
    The politions want their cut of the money and although they do nothing they want to control everything. They of course will say they are looking out for pu lic safety. Baloney to that, ever hear a progressive liberal take the blame for anything! Won’t be surprised if they blame Bush again.

Comments are closed.