Fredericton — Many Fredericton residents were “horrified” to see a number of carnival rides being set up in the city’s exhibition grounds this week, fearing that the event will contribute to the spread of COVID-19, as the exhibition is traditionally a cesspools for germs.
“Not anymore,” assures Graham Burns, general manager of East Coast Amusements. “We’re not going to pretend that we’ve had a perfect track record in regards to the spread of infection at the park in the past.”
He showed reporters around the grounds, pointing out fan-favourite rides, still being set up, as well as a number of new sanitation efforts.
“Has a kid or two gotten a cold from the merry-go-round? Probably. Can we promise you won’t get food poisoning from our vendors? No, we can’t. Have I picked up chlamydia from a carney once or twice? Of course I have,” he continued. “But this year, we are taking every precaution to ensure that the spread of coronavirus is completely impossible.”
“Take this,” he said, stopping before one ride, nearing completion. “Anybody recognize this fine beauty? This is the ‘Sizzler.’ Basically puke city, right? Well, not anymore. To prevent the spread of germs, we will no longer be spinning the carts. Instead, people will sit down — maximum one per cart — and Billy here will run around the ride, creating the illusion of movement.”
He went on to show reporters a number of other modifications being made to popular rides.
“The ‘Himalaya’ is now the ‘Mole Hill.’ The ‘Zipper’ is now the ‘Button,’ the ‘Tilt-A-Whirl’ is more like a ‘Stand-A-Still,’ and the ‘Orient Express’? Equally as racist, but half as fun.”
He added that the rides were not the only part of the carnival to be affected.
“Unfortunately, we cannot give out our top prizes at the games this year,” he said. “So no change there, really.”
According to Burns, the rides will be sanitized after each use, adding significantly to wait times, and all visitors are required to wear masks, gloves and several layers of clothing, regardless of the temperature.
“Won’t that make the experience unbearable?” asked a reporter from The Daily Gleaner.
“Yes,” he said, nodding thoughtfully. “‘Unbearable’ is a good word.”