FLINT TWP. — Elliott’s Amusements, based in Mason, received permission from the township board last week to stage a carnival in the parking lot at Genesee Valley Center shopping mall, May 9-12.
For the second time it recent years, the carnival will be set up on the front side of the mall in a parking lot southwest of Macy’s department store, facing Linden Road.
In past years, the carnival was set up in a rear mall parking lot behind JC Penneys and Sears department stores.
Last year, a carnival by Gold Medal Shows came to town in July in conjunction with the township’s own Community Days Celebration which coincided with a Fourth of July fireworks show. That carnival and previous ones were held as fundraisers toward a goal to build a Heroes’ Plaza in the township park.
Supervisor Karyn Miller stated that income from this year’s carnival will go to Genesee Valley.
“Are we having our own carnival?” asked township trustee Frank Kasle who voted no in a 3-1 decision approving the carnival permit. Miller, clerk Marsha Binelli and trustee Belenda Parker voted in favor. Clerk Kim Courts and trustees George Menoutes and Barb Vert were absent.
Kasle also asked the police chief if there were any problems associated with last year’s event. He noted that a great deal of fire and police presence was needed during the event.
“I went out there and did not enjoy it,” Kasle said. “I don’t think it is the type of thing we need in the township.”
Police Chief George Sippert said last year’s 12-day carnival took place during a hot weather spell that affected attendance. Other than a fencing issue on opening day, there were no serious problems, including traffic congestion because attendance was too low he said.
Sippert also said that carnival organizers pay for police security.
Carnival hours will be from 4-11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, noon- 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon-8 p.m. on Sunday, according to documents filed with the township.
The contract with the mall specifies that food concessions will be inspected and licensed by the Genesee County Health Department and the carnival will provide its own electricity, daily cleanup and trash containers, and four portable toilets.
Elliott’s midway includes games, rides and concessions.
The township permit includes a hold harmless agreement which excludes the township from liability in case of loss, lawsuits and other damages connected with the carnival operation.
Elliott’s provided insurance liability documents and metal other permit requirements.
About 18 rides will include a Ferris Wheel, Tilt a Whirl, bumper cars, Zipper, Web Slinger and more.
Ticket information was not provided.