HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Tuesday’s news for most COVID mandates lifting in NYS, is a dream come true for one fire district that’s been holding out for weeks on their summer carnival plans.
The Hilton Fire district held out hope even as other districts canceled early on, claiming state guidance was too tough to keep up with.
The district announced last Thursday plans were on for the summer, but the news for no-more-restrictions is even better for chairman Andrew Nichols.
“I feel relieved, as you know all the other carnivals canceled it was a ton of stress,” he said. He says guidance for carnivals was changing too often, calling it a ‘logistic nightmare.’
At one point, capacity was set for 33% for carnivals in outdoor settings, something many districts said wasn’t fair. There were also requirements for contract tracing, temperature checks for everyone entering, single points of access and more.
But no matter how challenging things were, Hilton wanted to make it work no matter what.
“Our members wanted a carnival from the get-go so that’s why we held out the longest, but I know in other departments that was a problem with them,” he said.
He says luckily, waiting on the fence for so long wasn’t too impactful – all their ride vendors were on board.
And as days went by, the state guidelines got simpler and simpler, things like temperature checks became optional.
And most recently – no more restrictions at all for “amusement and family entertainment.”
Nichols says he’s just waiting on the county to confirm it in writing, after Gov. Cuomo announced it on Tuesday. They already had county-approved plan involving a capacity limit and head count check. But now, that’s set to lift too.
In the end, Hilton turned out to be the only district in Monroe County going through with carnival plans. Nichols says the reason they kept faith shows how important the event is for the entire community, not just fundraising.
“It’s important to the community, they’ve been looking forward to getting out and active for the last 15-16 months,” said Nichols. “Not any other department in the county I can say will be able to do.”
The carnival will run from July 14 to July 17.