A Pop-Up Carnival in a Parking Lot
Brown’s Amusements holds annual fair at Chandler Commons strip-mall
Editor’s Note: This story was originally submitted this story to the San Tan Sun News (a local Chandler, Ariz. newspaper and website). They declined to publish the story, so we are able to publish the article and a photo slideshow. This story is no longer timely, but the event happens yearly at around the same time. And the oddity of it, surprised Executive Editor Matt Lewis. He has lived in Chandler his whole life and had not heard about or seen this carnival – which had apparently been taking place for years just about a mile or so from his house.
By Matt Lewis
A pop-up carnival took place in a parking lot near the border between Chandler and Gilbert. The fair took place Thursday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 19. The fair was held prior to the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, Feb. 20.
The site of the family-friendly fun was near the intersection of Ray and Cooper roads at the Chandler Commons strip-mall. A Ferris Wheel, Tilt ‘a Whirl and Carousel lit up the parking lot, even late into Sunday night.
In addition to rides, there were also a few of the standard carnival games – complete with prizes like big stuffed animals.
Young people and a few families were still milling about the parking lot as late as 8 p.m. Sunday night. Most seemed surprised there was a carnival in their neighborhood.
Brown’s Amusements, a Chandler-based company that puts on carnivals, said they have been hosting the carnival at the strip-mall for years. The company has been operating in Arizona for 21 years; hosting carnivals around the state.
“We do a lot of county fairs – our main source of income is county fairs – folks like bringing their kids; and these days, compared to everything else, it’s relatively in-expensive,” Danny Brown, owner of Brown’s Amusements said. “We’ve played the same location for years.”
The holiday on Monday left some of the Brown’s crew wondering why they were packing up a day before the holiday; but the decision was made by Brown himself.
He said the reason they packed up was because they had another carnival to host in another town the following week.Their next stop was the Lost Dutchman area of Apache Junction.
The company went on to add that the weather hurt their bottom-line. Brown said the rain might have been a factor in lower attendance.
The three day (or long holiday weekend) provided an ample opportunity for attracting patrons; and was supposed to be a good earner for the carnival company, Brown said.
For more information about future stops or other information about Brown’s Amusement, please visit:
Photo slideshow below:
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About the Reporter:
Matt Lewis is a freelance journalist based in Chandler, Ariz. and is the Executive Editor & Publisher of The Gilbert Gumption.