by Alan McArthur
Some Platte City aldermen have expressed interest in researching the possibility of establishing what they refer to as a more family-friendly festival than the annual End of the Trail motorcycle rally.
One of the ideas put forward at the last board of aldermen meeting is to have a festival that would include a carnival coming to town. A carnival is featured at many of the festivals held in downtown Parkville each year.
In Parkville, the Main Street Association organizes the carnivals, according to Angelo Gangai, Main Street Association chairman.
The Main Street Association-Parkville operates separately from the city government and accumulates money necessary for the festivals through various fundraisers.
The association actually pays the city in order to use the property.
“We pay about $750 to use the park for a ‘major event,’” said Gangai. “We also have to pay for the use of electricity or water connections, the same as anyone who uses the park.”
For the carnival entertainment, Parkville uses Evans Midland Empire Carnival based out of Plattsburg, Mo. This is the same carnival that operates at the Platte County Fair.
Because Parkville’s festivals are established events that regularly draw large crowds, the carnival does not charge the association a fee to operate during the events. Instead, Midland only collects the proceeds from the sale of tickets at the event.
According to John Evans, owner of Evans Midland Empire Carnival, if Platte City were interested in holding a carnival, Evans would want a guarantee of money.
“The price is really dependent on which rides they would like, but I would probably want a guarantee of about $10,000,” said Evans. “Then if the event does not make that much from the ticket sales, then the city would pay the difference.”
The carnivals in Parkville usually consist of several rides, such as a Ferris wheel, carousel, and giant slide; there are also different types of carnival games set up in the park.
However, according to Evans, his carnival is booked through most of the summer with reservations. He said the only times he still has available would be early spring or middle to late fall.
A search done by The Landmark showed nearly a dozen other carnival operations serving the Kansas City area.
Currently, Platte City has $15,000 budgeted for a festival to be held during the 2008 budget year.