Seeking approval of three licenses required to bring the Hopkinton Parent Teacher Association (HPTA) carnival event back to town in June, HPTA president Erin Graziano appeared before selectmen at their April 23 meeting. According to a letter from Graziano to the board, the event last year raised more than $9,000 for the organization. Working with Fiesta Shows for a third time, the HPTA hopes to raise between $10,000 and $20,000 this year.
Documentation submitted by Fiesta Shows states that the company is committed to creating safe and wholesome entertainment for all its patrons. Activities planned include amusement rides, games and food. The event will be held from June 20-23 in the Hopkinton High School parking lot. Setup will take place on June 17 in order to provide enough time for the state to inspect and license the event before its opening.
Prior to voting its approval the board asked about steps taken to minimize traffic and noise for the neighborhood and heard comments from the public. Resident Sue McCarthy spoke against the carnival, asking the board to not allow it to return this year. She cited safety concerns, indicating she was injured at the carnival in 2017 when a sign that was not properly secured hit her on the head, causing a concussion. She claimed to have contacted the town and the Board of Selectmen when she was injured but did not receive any response.
Select Chair Claire Wright apologized for the lack of response, but said, “It is very difficult with anything in life to give 100 percent ever that nothing is going to happen. … I am very sorry if you didn’t get an adequate response from the town.”
Selectman Brendan Tedstone added: “I’m sorry for that.”
A second resident, an abutter, requested earlier end times to the event and lower music levels.
In the end, the board approved an entertainment license, carnival license and Sunday license for the Fiesta Shows Carnival with the condition that the carnival hours be from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday, June 20; 6-10 p.m. on Friday, June 21; 1-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 22; and 1-9 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, and with the understanding that on Friday and Saturday night, in the hour prior to closing, the operator will gradually reduce the sound level. The HPTA had initially requested 10:30 p.m. closing times on June 21 and 22.