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Carnival Lathrop bankrolled with $7,000 in tax dollars is now underway

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Carnival Lathrop bankrolled with  $7,000 in tax dollars  is now underway

Ratry Khoonsrigong and her children make their way onto the Ferris Wheel.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED May 11, 2013 2:17 a.m.

LATHROP – Steven Gascon doesn’t mind the fact that the City of Lathrop shelled out $4,000 to rent the space in the Target parking lot for a weekend carnival.

In fact, he doesn’t even mind if they don’t make the money back – as the city hopes that it will through a profit-sharing agreement with Butler Amusements.

At the end of the day, Gascon says that all that he’s concerned about is having a good time with his family without having to leave the confines of Lathrop as he so often does when it comes to spending entertainment dollars.

“It’s not something everybody is going to agree with, but I’m cool with it,” he said. “It’ll keep people from going to Tracy or Manteca for similar events. We don’t have a movie theater here and there isn’t a whole lot else that we can do. So even if they don’t make the money back, which I’m sure they will, we still have something here that we all can enjoy.”

Last month the council was split on shelling out the $7,000 necessary to ink the contract with Butler – which included the $4,000 payment to Watt/McKee Development for the space – after a debate that hinged on whether the carnival operator should shoulder more of the initial startup burden.

Ultimately, council members Steve Dresser and Martha Salcedo were on the outside looking in after a representative from one of the West Coast’s biggest carnival company’s talked about the money that El Dorado Hills recently raked in after a warm weekend and how a good show could end up establishing a solid business relationship and giving the city its choice of booking dates next year.

And while it was a bustling midway in Milpitas that initially prompted Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal to suggest the idea of bringing the carnival to town, former San Jose residents Bryan and Stephanie Norred were glad to see the crowd at a dull roar Friday as they led their daughter Brianna through the maze of rides.

“There’s not much to do here – we have Dell’Osso Farms, but that’s really only open twice a year,” Stephanie Norred said. “We don’t get informed on what’s going on in Manteca either. We drove by the other day and saw something going on in the parking lot of Bass Pro. We drive by here every day, so we knew that this was going up even before it opened.”

It’s the pace that Bryan Norred said he enjoyed.

“This is one of the first big events that we’ve seen and we’ve been here almost two years,” he said. “Everybody’s nice – it’s kind of a quiet down and everybody is friendly.

“We moved here from San Jose and things move a lot faster over there. This is nice.”

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