Almonte Fair recovers after midway operator a no-show
2nd time this summer Billy G Amusements fails to show up at eastern Ontario fair
The Almonte Fair has found a new company to operate the rides at this weekend's festivities after they were stood up by the same midway company that failed to show in Maxville, Ont., last month.
Mississauga-based midway operator Billy G Amusements was slated to be at the 126th Maxville Fair from June 19 to 22, but when they didn't show up, other local fairs who had hired the company became nervous about their plans.
Almonte Fair president James Purdy had hired the company for this weekend's festivities back in November to replace the previous fair operator, Conklin, which had decided not to come up to the region because of rising fuel costs.
But after the Maxville no-show he reached the company and was told the company wascoming, but hasn't been able to reach them since.
Purdy said when Billy G didn't show up to set things up on Sunday, he tried to reach him but could not. He called another midway from western Ontario, Gable Brothers, who are coming this week.
Billy G Amusements says company having worker issues
While Purdy said Billy G Amusements hasn't called him back, the owner of the company, Billy Gordon, spoke to the CBC on Tuesday.
Gordon said he was planning to come to Almonte — but he doesn't have enough workers to move the midway because his application for temporary foreign workers has not been approved.
"Literally I have no staff to set up and tear down the rides," said Gordon.
Purdy said that's a poor explanation and doesn't explain why he hasn't called them back.
"He should have set all of this up before signing a contract," said Purdy.
The Billy G Amusements website says they are heading to the Chesterville and Arnprior fairs later this summer.
Jeff Desarmia, the President of the Arnprior Fair — which runs in August — spoke to Gordon Tuesday afternoon when he heard the company was a no-show in Almonte.
Desarmia says he'll give the company until Friday to provide written confirmation that they'll show up for the Arnprior Fair. He said if Billy G doesn't show, the fair will take legal action. Arnprior Fair organizers are in touch with two other midways, Crown Amusements and Gable Brothers, as a contingency plan.
Purdy said he's happy there will be some rides at this year's edition of the fair.
"We don't know what rides are coming, but rides are coming. Beggars can't be choosers, and we'll take anything at this point," he said.
The Almonte Fair runs from July 18 to 20.