The North Bend Eagle

 

Old Settlers getting more carnival

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/24/15

The D.C. Lynch carnival will be pulling into North Bend this weekend for the 33rd straight year, but the 2015 version of the carnival should be bigger and better than ever.

D.C. Lynch will be offering more rides this year and will be open a day longer than in the past. In addition to the customary Saturday and Sunday schedule, the carnival will also open up at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Rod Johnson has served as the North Bend Chamber of Commerce’s liaison for D.C. Lynch since the beginning. He said the carnival requested some changes to the North Bend setup in order to make it more worth its while.

The carnival comes to North Bend from Burwell, about 140 miles away, then returns out west after Old Settlers weekend.

Carnival owner Dennis Lynch told Johnson he can’t bring some of his rides because there isn’t room to set them all up in North Bend. He also said he had to pay his crew to sit around Friday night when the carnival isn’t open. Old Settlers’ Friday has been one of just three nights during the summer schedule when the carnival wasn’t up and running.

“He said those were the conditions for coming back this year,” Johnson said. “First of all, they had to have more room. Then they wanted to have it promoted so they could have a good run Friday night. If they come down that far and they’re set up anyway, they’d really like to be able to go on Friday.”

The D.C. Lynch carnival usually gets into North Bend between 7 and 8 a.m. Friday and is set up by that afternoon.

“They used to try to run Friday night, but it was just dead,” Johnson said. “There was nobody around. (Lynch) said if we’re going to do Friday night, the Chamber needs to have some activities and stuff going on at the park to get some people there.”

To try and remedy the situation, the Friday night Welcome Home Barbecue, sponsored by the Optimist Club, will be held at the city park tennis courts after it had been held downtown in recent years. In conjunction with the barbecue, the FFA Alumni is hosting a wine and beer tasting event in the park. There will also be Legion baseball games going on at the ball diamond.

In order to the give the carnival more space, several modifications were made to the carnival layout.

In the past, a portion of the parking lot west of the grade school was filled with campers belonging to carnival personnel.

The school installed an electrical outlet on the east side of the school building, so now the campers will park on the east side of the school, leaving the entire west parking lot open for rides.

The carnival will also extend onto Locust Street for the first time. The intersection of 11th and Locust at the southwest corner of the park will be closed as D.C. Lynch carnival games and rides will be placed in the intersection and north on Locust Street for nearly half a block.

“They’re going to kind of play that by ear depending on how things set up,” Johnson said. “They’ve never set up like this before, and they don’t know if they’re going to be able to put rides in the area by the city building (south of the park) because that could be muddy.”

Because of Locust Street being closed at the park, Sunday’s parade will end at 9th and Locust.

The carnival and Johnson hope ticket sales will get a bump by being open an extra night. The North Bend Chamber of Commerce keeps a portion of the ticket proceeds. The formula for figuring the Chamber’s cut has some variables, but last year the Chamber made $2,528, about 10 percent of the total revenue.

Johnson said it is in everyone’s interest to keep the carnival happy and returning each year. North Bend is one of the smallest towns on the carnival’s schedule to have a weekend slot. The credit for that goes to North Bend’s 33-year history with D.C. Lynch and strong ticket sales.

Johnson also said D.C. Lynch is one of the best carnivals available.

“They are always upgrading their equipment and getting new rides,” he said. “Every winter they paint their stuff. The equipment is clean, and he has pretty good people working for him. My theory is, if you take the carnival away from Old Settlers, you’d have some stuff, but it would be slim pickings.”

Carnival tickets are currently for sale at Casey’s, Medicine Man Pharmacy, Mini Mart, Platte Valley Bank and Shawsky’s. A sheet of 20 tickets is available for $10, and all rides require two or more tickets. Tickets will also be available at a slightly higher price on the carnival midway.

 

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