The Octupus was packed and gone from the Buchanan Carnival last night, but it was a ride all night night and the kids didn’t seem to mind riding the rides. The crowd was good for a Tuesday. Carnival goers sat around eating, chatting and listening to music and the rides didn’t appear to be a topic of conversation to most folks the Botetourt View spoke with in the Town Park also called the “Carnival grounds.”
Most come to eat and see friends and many adults both younger and senior citizens have been coming to the Carnival all of their lives. Others come mainly to support the Buchanan Fire Department in their fund raising efforts. Caleb Bittler of Fincastle volunteered in the food stand and he is among hundreds who volunteer every year from area businesses, civic groups and churches.
The number one topic of conversation on Friday night and Tuesday night was the effects of the US economy on workers and their families. Perhaps in perspective one ride falling Monday night, (and thankfully no one seriously hurt, ) in over 60 years of carnivals pales in comparison with many Botetourt families where a parent or child is out of work. Others expressed worry that their company may be the next to experience a layoff. Buchanan was hard hit when Groendyke closed in late December and Botetourt area manufacturers associated with the auto industry like JTek, Metalsa and Dynex have laid off employees as has another Botetourt industry–Gala Industries. The Virginia employment figures from the VEC listed this week put Botetourt’s unemployment rate at 6.7 % Last year on the last week of June that figure was 2.9%
Cindy Musgrove of Troutville accompanied her family to the carnival and noted that in her group of golfers this week every one of them had some how been touched by either job lay-off, company cutbacks or a general slowdown.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF BUCHANAN CARNIVAL:
* July 1: Will accident at Buchanan Carnival keep you away from Salem Fair?
* June 30: Update on accident; one injury reported
* June 30: Arm breaks off ride at Buchanan Carnival
* June 27: Photos from the Buchanan Carnival
* June 22: Carnival runs through July 4