Come one, come all
Some make their way to the carnival because their children drag them, others go because it’s a tradition.
For the fourth consecutive year, Powers Great American Midways, of North Carolina, has provided the carnival and midway at the Fayette County Fair.
Mark Janas, manager of the midway, said the company provides the carnival at more Pennsylvania county fairs than any other amusement company.
“Every January we go to the Pennsylvania convention for fairs and we set up a booth,” Janas said. “I think the fairs choose our company because we provide clean family fun and a lot of very nice, clean and safe rides.”
In fact, the amusement company received the safety award about three years ago from Pennsylvania for its ride safety record.
“All of our games are family-oriented from balloon darts, water gun races and the goldfish,” Janas said. “We also have a very nice mobile food concession selection from fried dough and pizza to lemonade.”
After two days of setting up all of the rides, games and concessions, the company is ready to entertain, and Janas is ready to lead the pack as a fourth generation carnival guy.
“I had my own game concession when I was a boy and I just had fun,” he said, adding that he also has a degree in mass communications and journalism.
“But this isn’t like the normal 9 to 5 job,” Janas said. “It’s different every week and you see things that you wouldn’t see with any other job.”
His goal at each venue is to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.
“We want them to come back year after year,” Janas said. “This really is a family tradition and generational. Those who used to come to the carnival and county fair are now bringing their children and grandchildren.”
Susan Kurr, of Uniontown, is an example of that.
“I’ve been coming to the fair since I was 12 years old,” Kurr said.
Now she’s bringing her children, one of which is 4-year-old Sarah Kurr who loves everything in the carnival.
“Every ride is my favorite,” she said.
Jessica Steindl, of Dawson, grew up in the 4-H program so it has become a tradition to go to the fair.
Her children, Michael, 4, and Morgan, 2, enjoy the carnival as well.
“They just like everything about it, but Morgan really likes the horses as well,” Steindl said.
And before the week is over, Michael will have ridden most of the kid rides and tried his luck at some of the games.
And the chance of bringing home that prized stuffed animal is almost more than any child can resist.