BUCKHANNON — Gambill Amusement isn’t letting the coronavirus stop all of the fun this summer. On Thursday evening starting at 6:00 p.m., they’re kicking off Buckhannon’s first Social Distancing Social. The event will continue through Saturday, July 18.
The carnival will be set up on Route 33, across from Buckhannon Toyota. There will be rides, games and food vendors, so you can stay hydrated with some ice cold fresh squeezed lemonade. Favorite fair foods like funnel cake, ice cream, fried Oreos and popcorn will also be available. The only rides that will not be operating are those where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as bumper cars, Gambill’s owner Shane Turner explained.
Gambill Amusement has put many procedures in place in order to maintain the health and safety of participants and employees. Each employee is required to wear a mask, hand sanitizer will be placed on every ride, and social distancing lines will be in place. There will also be continuous cleaning and sanitizing, such as hourly disinfectant for each ride. Employees will also be wiping down the hand bars after each time the ride is used as well. Masks are strongly recommended, but not required.
Turner and wife Nicole created strict safety protocols that have now been adopted by Governor Jim Justice for carnivals across the entire state of West Virginia. The Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA) also adopted Gambill Amusement’s safety protocols as a requirement for carnivals throughout the nation.
The carnival will be open until 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, then operate 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday. On weekdays, it will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The cost for an armband, or endless rides is $20, except on Sunday when it is only $15. Tickets are $1.25 each or $20 for 20. Kiddie rides are three tickets and major rides are four tickets.
“We are anticipating that people are going to want to get out and do something fun… With our safety protocols and it being outside, it is perfectly safe for everyone to come have a good time. It’s time to come together – 6 feet apart,” Turner explained.
Gambill Amusement will be set back up again in Buckhannon later this year for Fall Fest.