COVID-19 gathering restrictions have halted spring, summer and fall fairs and exhibitions in many Canadian communities. That hiatus is threatening the business of midway operators who need the fair season income to sustain them all year round.
Patrick Jamieson owns the World’s Finest Shows midway of Simcoe, which usually operates rides and games at about 50 fairs and events from May to the Thanksgiving weekend every year. Like other midway companies, a lot of money they make goes back into maintaining and servicing their equipment every winter.
“There is zero income right now for a minimum of 18 months,” Jamieson said. “We don’t even know if we’re going to get on the road next year.”
The pandemic caused social and economic shutdowns across Canada, starting in March. That couldn’t have come at a worse time for midway operators like Jamieson, since he had already paid to service, insure and safety his equipment and vehicles in preparation for this season.