Midway of Sacramento has an opening for the Fourth of July weekend.
That’s great for the City of Ripon, which is looking to add a three-day carnival at the Stouffer Sports Complex to the Independence Day fireworks.
Midway, thus far, has agreed not to charge the City and would provide about 30 percent of the pre-sale tickets at tickets sold at the gate back to the Fireworks Committee to go towards the pyrotechnic aerial show.
The carnival company would need a 500-by-500 foot area along with water service for the concessions. Midway, which would bring in about 50 rides, would also provide restrooms and clean-up upon completion.
“The revenue that will be generated is unclear since this is the first year of adding the carnival to the Fourth of July event,” City Administrator Kevin Werner said,
The Ripon City Council, at the previous meeting, tabled the agreement for Tuesday’s session.
Elected leaders requested a representative from Midway to be on hand for the 7 p.m. open session to answer a few unsettling questions in the Council Chamber, 259 N. Wilma Ave.
According to Mayor Leo Zuber, the cost for the fireworks comes up to about $12,000 while the carnival has an estimated cost of $10,000 to $15,000 after factoring additional police and public works service.
Council has the option to pay this expense from the general fund or from the revenue from the carnival to offset the City’s expenses.
Councilman Dean Uecker and Vice Mayor Jason Parks both agreed that this can be risky given there is no guarantee the City will get the money back without the metrics to follow.
Uecker pointed out that the Almond Festival generates $30,000 to $40,000.
“We can’t use the Almond Blossom Festival as a model,” said Zuber. “The Almond Blossom Festival draws people to town and the Fourth of July event won’t bring people in until the night.
“The amount of money that has to be raised could double due to fireworks and the carnival – without any metrics to follow it’s hard to see how the City will recoup the money.”
For more information, call Ripon City Hall at 209.559.2108 or log on to www.cityofripon.org.