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Carnival coming - fair is not
Fair lights for Sept.jpg
Kissel Entertainment has rented the fairgrounds for carnival rides Sept. 15-19. No other aspects of the fair will take place.

Kissel Entertainment has rented a portion of the fairgrounds and will be providing a carnival in Warren County next week from Sept. 15-19.

“This is not the fair. It is a carnival,” said Warren County A&L Fair Board president Regan Kelsey. “We have rented out that portion of the grounds to Kissel Entertainment so that it can offer a carnival. The remainder of the fairgrounds will not be open and no other activities will be offered.”

In order to avoid any confusion, Kelsey stressed, “The fair was canceled and we couldn’t be any more canceled. All we’ve done is rented the fairgrounds out to Kissel. It’s no different than a carnival coming to the parking lot at Northgate Center. The midway will be open but the gates to the food booths and the rest of the fairgrounds will be locked.”

Kissel will be offering its fair food, its carnival games and its rides. It starts Tuesday, Sept. 15 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 19.

“We were contacted by Kissel about the possibility of renting the area to offer a carnival at the fairgrounds,” said Kelsey. “Warren County has lost so much this year because of cancellations due to COVID-19. We decided if the opportunity was presented we would allow Kissel to rent the property and offer a carnival. We didn’t think it was going to happen. They just called and said they would be here next week.” 

Word moved faster than the Himalaya. Kelsey said within an hour of Kissel Entertainment updating its Facebook page to announce the “exciting news,” his cellphone was bombarded with calls from people who are confused and/ or angry.

“The carnival and the fair are two different things,” said Kelsey. “You can have a fair with a carnival or a carnival without the fair and that’s exactly what’s happening here.”

Grievances pertained to the loss of revenue the fair provided to churches, schools, businesses, and nonprofits.  

“We had a deadline in which we had to make a decision, that being the end of July,” said Kelsey. “We made the decision to cancel the fair based on the governor’s guidelines at that time. If you look at those now, they are basically unchanged. Additionally, we have a mandate from County Executive Jimmy Haley requiring facemasks. Even if we decided to ignore all that and offer a fair anyway, we couldn’t. We don’t have the volunteers and resources in place to offer it. Kissel can set up in a day and tear down in a day. We cannot. The fair takes months of planning.”

Details about Kissel’s hours of operation and ride specials, if any, will be provided as they become available.


Sept. 15-19 schedule for the Kissel Entertainment carnival to be held at the fairgrounds: 

• Tuesday open at 6 p.m., regular tickets 

• Wednesday open at 6 p.m., two armbands for $25 (cannot be sold separately, both parties must be there at time of purchase) 

• Thursday open at 6 p.m., 2-for-1 ride tickets

• Friday open at 6 p.m., regular tickets

• Saturday open at 1 p.m., $20 armband (valid from 1 to 4 p.m.) 4 p.m. to closing, regular tickets only