It will officially be 60 years of carnivals in Buchanan even after the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department went under earlier this fall. Community member volunteers have come forward to help. With bad fire department press over the past year, Buchanan showed that most of the residents are good, hardworking people out to do the right thing for their community. Many will volunteer during the carnival week to help out in food stands, run games and so forth.
A committee of concerned community volunteers and elected officials met for the first time on Wednesday night January 2 to choose the carnival ride company, to discuss repairs and to get together to plan the 60th carnival. The annual 4th of July parade will likely have parade marshals from the original organizers.
Mayor Larry Hall opened with a word of prayer and then the citizens got down to work. Cletus Newcomb, a former council member, presented his findings on two carnival ride companies to the 20 people in the council chamber of Town Hall. The two companies were Coles out of Covington and Buffalo Brothers in Rockbridge. After presenting the two companies, discussion ensued. Coles has provided the past two years of rides at the carnival. Buffalo Brothers plays smaller carnivals with vintages rides.
Many topics flowed around the room including the cost of electricity over the week long event for RVs and also food concessions. The hopes of returning to making money was of utmost importance. The monies raised will be shared with Botetourt County EMS as well as to maintain the carnival grounds. Many of the buildings are set to be returned to the town by the Board of Supervisors in the January meeting. Coles will split 75-25 with the town. Food monies from Town volunteers who operate ice cream, hamburger and french fry stands all go to the Town for the split with county. Raffle tickets for big prizes are well under way thanks to Marty Rickman who is organizing the donated items.
For about an hour the group weighed the pros and cons of each. When Hall called for a vote it was unanimous for Coles.
The Buchanan Carnival is set for June 27 through July 6. Only two of those days will conflict with the Salem Fair, so the committee saw that as a real plus.
Hall spoke with Coles after the meeting and they will pay a set up fee on the RV electricity. He was very happy to report an advanced ticket purchase will be available at Town Hall and other local venues for $17 ride all night bands. There will be coupons for five dollar off nights if people do not buy the advanced ticket he said. Those ride all night bands would be $20. Regular price for ride all night is $25 per night. Coupons will be available at venues and online at Coles.
French fries will return to $2 per basket. “We will still make money on them,” said Hall.