Families will notice some changes when they turn out in droves for the 126th edition of Ladner Mays this weekend.
Opening night on Friday always brings huge crowds to the midway section of the Memorial Park that includes rides, games and food favourites such as cotton candy. The fair has had a long-relationship with West Coast Amusements, however, the Chilliwack-based company has hit a snag with finding enough employees and couldn’t commit this year.
“They need 60 workers to run two separate carnivals with one going up north and the other staying down here,” explained May Days chair Jennifer Scott. “They were hoping to bring in some foreign workers but hit a snag with the Canadian government and couldn’t commit to us, so that was a bit of a disappointment as we had always had a good relationship with them.”
The May Days committee was suddenly up against the clock as this year’s fair wasn’t given the greenlight to proceed until late March from the City of Delta. Fortunately, they came to an agreement with Shooting Star Amusements, another Metro Vancouver company based out of Mission.
“They have come to our rescue,” said Scott. “So, we will have 15 rides, with five for the little ones, five family rides and five of what you would call the classic rides (such as The Zipper, Zero Gravity and Tilt-A-Whirl). There will be the midway games too and you’ll be able to get your mini-donuts.”
Other rides listed on Shooting Star Amusements’ website includes Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, The Sizzler, Kreepy Castle, Go-Gator Coaster and the Berry-Go-Round. The rides will be in operation from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Daily ride passes are available for $40.
Another popular May Days activities include the petting zoo and pony rides. Again, the committee had to scramble for other options when the company they dealt with in the past remains closed.
“Our entertainment coordinator Carly Massey was able to find two separate companies, one that does pony rides and one for petting zoos,” Scott added. “It’s just been hard for some people to come back. Some of our long-time entertainers were hit really hard by (all the cancellations from COVID) and not being able to work.”