DEL MAR — The 2022 San Diego County Fair will return to an independent midway model for its popular carnival under an agreement reached between the 22nd District Agricultural Association and carnival operators Talley Amusements and Ray Cammack Shows in court this week.
Plans for the carnival fell into jeopardy this month when a judge granted an injunction stopping the 22nd DAA from carrying out their master carnival contract with RCS for the upcoming fair, following allegations of favoritism in the request for proposals process.
After hours of conversations over the Easter weekend with San Diego Superior Court Judge F. Ronald Frazier, all parties agreed to return to the independent midway format used in the past, with different games and rides offered by multiple operators rather than being handled by just one. The decision was announced Monday afternoon.
“With this resolution, reached by the 22nd District Agricultural Association, Ray Cammack Shows and Talley Amusements, the 2022 Fair will proceed with an independent carnival midway, offering a full array of rides, games and food,” 22nd DAA spokeswoman Jennifer Hellman said in a Monday statement. “The resolution is consistent with prior independent midways held at the Fair and addresses the issues raised by the Court’s recent injunction ruling. Discussions will continue over the next week concerning the midway layout plan which the parties have committed to resolve.”
John Moot, the attorney representing Talley Amusements in an ongoing lawsuit against the 22nd DAA alleging corruption, favoritism and bid-rigging during the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ selection process of a master carnival operator for last year’s county fair, said the litigation will be stayed until after the fair, with conversations to resume in July.
“Everybody put aside their differences to make sure we had a full and complete carnival for 2022,” Moot said. “It will be determined after the fair is over how we proceed forward after this. No one has given up any of their positions in the case.”
The timing of the agreement gives the Fairgrounds little time to spare to complete plans for the fair, scheduled to begin June 8 and last through July 4. The event typically draws 1.5 million people to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.