Galax carnival a no-show

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By April Wright, Reporter

The Galax Fire Department is trying to determine what happened to the company it contracted with to bring the annual July 4 week carnival — the volunteer organization's biggest annual fundraiser — to town.

The event was set to begin tonight, Tuesday, and run through Saturday.

The fire department on Tuesday was trying to get another carnival to set up in Galax's Felts Park.

Tolve Amusements, of New Jersey, did not show up at the park and fire department officials have been unable to contact the company.

Hankley has been in touch with Family Amusement in Rural Retreat. Though Family Amusement would be unable to set up for the Galax carnival this week, the company is providing contacts to Hankley of other carnival companies located within 300 miles of Galax that could possibly set up.

“We're very eagerly trying to find something we can get in,” said David Hankley, chief of the fire department. “It doesn't look good at such a short notice on July 4th week.”

In recent years, the fire department used Jules & Beck Combined Shows, of Georgia, for its annual carnival, but in January the company told Hankley it would not be returning to the area due to the expensive cost of fuel.

That's when the fire department decided to go with Tolve Amusements. The company had good references from several civic clubs and schools that had used it.

Hankley was last in contact with the manager of the company on June 25.

With everything in order, he began advertising the carnival throughout towns and counties, on fliers, newspapers and the radio.

Tolve Amusements had agreed to arrive in Felts Park on Sunday to discuss setting up and then have everything in place by Monday.

When the carnival company didn't show up on Sunday, Hankley called the manager. He got the man's voicemail, which is not uncommon, he said.

Hankley called again on Monday, but the manager's voicemail was full.

“We've never encountered this situation before,” said Hankley.

The situation will not affect the department's other events scheduled for this week — the lawnmower race on Friday night and the demolition derby on Saturday night, along with "extreme BMX" motorcycle stunts both nights