Midways can only set up in Sudbury parks, council says
Festival organizers say midway carnival rides are important part of community events
Greater Sudbury is looking to offer bigger thrill rides than the swing sets in city parks now that its planning committee voted to allow only midways to set up in municipal parks.
Carnivals have popped up in different spots around Sudbury in recent years, usually drawing complaints from neighbours — including those who live near Bell Park, where Summerfest has featured a midway for the past few years.
City councillor Evelyn Dutrisac said she thinks, despite some complaints, the city should support community events like Summerfest, which is run by volunteers.
"I think we need to work closely together," she said. "And I think having the carnival in the parking lot is a good solution."
The organizers of Summerfest have been stressed out over city plans to regulate midway carnivals as the music festival depends on the revenue it gets from hosting a midway in the parking lots at Bell Park.
Summerfest chair Elaina Groves said they've put hundreds of volunteer hours into "fighting" the city on this issue.
"And it's caused volunteers to wonder why we continue to do this. It is really has," she said.
"I never questioned myself. I've been chair of this from day one and I never questioned my involvement before, I do now."
Now that the city has voted parks to be the only place travelling carnivals can set up in Greater Sudbury, it takes some of the pressure off Summerfest’s organizers.
Sudbury city staff has noted they will still be able to restrict which parks — and exactly where in a park — midway carnivals can set up.
The bylaw change won't be official until it passes a second vote at an upcoming council meeting.