The Carnival Comes to Dawsonville


Photo by Luke Rowe. Photo from inside the local carnival.

If you were headed up to Dahlonega, you may have passed the Amusements of America carnival at the North Georgia Premium Outlets. The carnival had free admission with a small charge per ride and any concessions.

The carnival had off duty police officers on sight in case of emergencies or accidents. An officer on the fairgrounds said, “We are here to make sure that everybody has a good time, this is a family event.” These officers are hired by the fair, through the sheriff’s office. The officers watch closely as people come in and out of the carnival, observing what people bring in and who comes in with who.

Photo by Luke Rowe. Photo of sheriff’s car outside of the carnival gate.

The set up and tear down of the carnival consists of working with the outlet mall to have everything ready for when the carnival arrives. The city has garbage, water and sewers arranged prior to arrival. After arriving they put the rides and concessions up and must be inspected by the state before the carnival is open to the public. Permits are required before the inspections are completed.

Photo by Luke Rowe. Photo of a concessions stand and a ride at the carnival.

The park has various signs around asking for people to please wear masks and sanitize their hands frequently. Although the signs are spread around the fair, the grounds are very split on how many people are and are not wearing masks. The new delta variant of the COVID-19 virus raises some concerns for the owner and manager, Rob Vivona, but he said, “we are prepared to do whatever necessary to stay open”.

The carnival brings in lots of business to the outlet mall by people coming to and from the mall and the carnival. Vivona said, “I have probably 100 employees here and they’re all using the mall…I buy fuel here… we use the supermarkets… [and] we contribute to the area”.