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Emmaus Community Day to feature carnival rides

EMMAUS — Emmaus Community Day, slated for June 4, got an infusion of fun Monday when Borough Council approved the addition of a carnival with 10 rides, bounce houses and performers. 

Council gave the nod to Kairos Promotions to bring JCJ Entertainment to Community Park on June 2, 3 and 4 in the hope that carnival rides and acts will boost attendance.

This will be the borough’s fourth Community Day, which usually brings out vendors, crafters, community organizations and first responders. In recent years, attendance has been low, according to Borough Manager Shane Pepe.

“Quite honestly, we haven’t had the number of vendors and organizations participating that we’d hope,” Pepe said. “So we’re hoping this will spur attendance to the event.”

Emmaus aspires to have a Community Day like Palmerton’s community festival, which has a carnival.

“I look at Palmerton’s community [festival],” Pepe said. “A town that’s barely half our size and their [event] is a whole weekend and they probably have 10,000 people a day showing up to that. It is huge. If we can get half of that it’s still 80 percent more successful than what we’ve had over the last several years.”

Kathy Mintzer, chairwoman of the Emmaus Recreation and Entertainment Commission, agreed that the carnival could be just what Community Day needs to bring out crowds.

“This carnival is going to totally boost us,” Mintzer said. “Our thing with Community Day is we could have a hundred vendors out there but if you have no reason for people to come to the park, they’re not going to come. You have to have something bright and shiny to attract people to attend.”

Emmaus will provide police protection and other services for the carnival and JCJ will pay the borough $25,000 for services and allowing it to use the park for three days.

Pepe said after that fee covers the cost of police and other borough expenses for the three days, the remaining money will go to the Emmaus Recreation and Entertainment Commission, which puts on Community Day, plus free summer concerts, movies and other events. The commission is frequently fundraising to pay for those events and the carnival fee could go a long way in helping them.

Pepe said the borough checked with other entities that hosted JCJ Amusements based in Gibsonton, Fla., and found that it’s a legitimate company that operates at state fairs, among other venues.

The carnival hours will be 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 2 and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. June 3 and 4, according to James Martin, owner of Kairos Promotions of Quakertown, which is working with JCJ.

JCJ plans to bring such rides as a Ferris wheel, Scrambler, Little Scrambler, Super Loop, Angry Bird and others. JCJ also expects to have such acts as fire spinners and acrobats, Martin said.

Borough Council also approved a request by the Emmaus Public Library to hold a library night at the Community Park pool that would be free to library cardholders. It will be held 5-8 p.m. Aug. 21. There will be a story time and crafts.

Margie Peterson is a freelance writer.

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