A carnival in a pandemic? Yes you heard that right. Mac's Carnival will be in O'Neill Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 13 -15 at Carney Park in O'Neill. Mac's Carnival and Attractions is based out of Woon Socket, SD. Rides, games and food for all ages.
Most people have already lost their mind after a summer that has been nothing but shutdowns from fairs to local celebrations and the rodeo's and attractions that go with these events. Social media went wild when it was announced that Mac's carnival was coming to town.
The City of O'Neill was approached by the carnival owners to see if they could set up at Carney Park. The city granted the carnival a permit to set up as the Health District is in Phase IV. Mac's Carnival then applied for permission from the health department submitting a plan for compliance adhereing to Phase IV and it was granted on Tuesday morning by the NCDHD Director. The carnival said they will take extra measures to comply with health measures to be able to operate. All rides will be sanitized daily before opening and also sanitized throughout the hours of operation. All operators are required to wear masks. They also have put sanitation stations at every ride and throughout the carnival. The rides that are in close contact have closed every other seat to maintain social distancing standards. The city bathrooms at the park remain closed.
People need to remember that Summerfest and the Holt County Fair did not fall in the confines of Phase IV health department measures. Although the fair which ran last week was in Phase IV there was no way to book a carnival when setting up the fair to know if we would transition into Phase IV.
Phase IV states all locations/venues that have a capacity of 500 or more individuals will be required to submit a reopening plan for approval to their local health department. Per the directed health measures put into place by the state of Nebraska, effective Aug. 1st, large events and gatherings can take place under the following conditions: indoor gatherings will be limited to 75 percent of rated occupancy. Outdoor gatherings 100 percent of rated occupancy. Gatherings include but are not limited to indoor or outdoor arenas, indoor or outdoor auctions, stadiums, tracks, fairgrounds, festivals, zoos, auditoriums, large event conference rooms, meeting halls, indoor theaters, libraries, swimming pools or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. Six feet separation between groups remains in guidance.
Plans for reopening or expanding to new capacity limits must be submitted to the local health departments and approved for all indoor and outdoor locations/venues that hold 500 or more individuals (1,000 or more in counties over 500,000 population) before reopening is permitted. The reopening plan must contain planned number of guests, how the location will meet social distancing guidelines and sanitation guidelines.
These measures are effective through 11:59 p.m., Aug. 31, 2020; unless renewed, extended or terminated by subsequent order, all persons in Cherry, Keya Paha, Brown, Rock, Boyd, Holt, Knox, Antelope and Pierce counties are ordered to comply.