Carnivals help to set the tone for event

Friday, June 28, 2024

While many small-town festivals are struggling to hold on due to financial issues and the lack of reliable volunteers, especially since the recent pandemic, some are closing.

Yet, the 89th Brazil Rotary’s 4th of July celebration is “grateful” for the opportunity and good fortune to work with great people and a little luck.


The Brazil Rotary Club admittedly pays attention to local feedback when it comes the to nearly 100-year old celebration.

In 2023, Rotary established a committee to look into a different carnival.

Staying in connection with those on the “carnival scene” members began to research in late summer to hopefully have a new carnival in 2024. However, the search takes time.

While everyone was concerned, a core group focused on the problem, including Mark Adamson, MaryAnn Reed, Rob Dispennett, and Donnie Martin.

The group spent a lot of hours, and a lot of on sight visits, as well as time on contracts to getting what Rotary wanted.

Adamson admits that for years he has specifically paid attention to lights on the rides of the carnivals.

“I know it has been somewhat aggravating listening to me, but I can’t stand seeing rides with the lights out,” Adamson said about a standard of excellence from being in the business for years. “If the lights are out on the ride, what else could be wrong.”

When Adamson got the chance to speak to the carnival people about lights, especially Swyear Amusements, he knew what he was looking for.

When Swyear Amusements talked about their grandfather establishing the business, and if lights went out, he’d immediately shut the ride down to be fixed - Adamson felt a kinship to such detail to quality management.


For those who enjoyed the atmosphere of previous family-run carnivals, this year’s arrival of Swyear Amusements will be a treat.

Rotary members said the carnival would have 15 rides available, more than last year’s carnival of 12.

Rotary member Rob Dispennett visited the company without warning to check out the carnival and was excited to see it in action.

“I went to Leroy, ILL, incognito to see the carnival in action, and it was the cleanest, most well-run carnival with nice and friendly people I have ever seen,” said Dispennett. “Everyone I talked to, from visitors to the carnival, people from the town it was in for 40 plus years, to the officials who were hosting the event, it was positive reviews from everyone.”

According to Dispennett, it was “sheer luck.” The rotary was able to get on the list for the carnival to come to Brazil for the Fourth of July celebration.

It will be the only event for Swyear Amusements this year in Indiana.

Along with the desired atmosphere, the Rotary was looking for, Swyear’s is also conducive to allowing local not-for-profit vendors, which is a popular favorite of the local Rotary event.


People do not realize that most carnival groups set up everything for an event - from dates, times, types of vendors, ticket prices, ect. - while the event host is just that, the host.

Arranging a high-quality and economical midway to a small town venue is not easy.


When the details were shared on local social media, a furry of local backlash began over the price of tickets. As the public outcry about the price of tickets waged, Rotary officials expressed how they took into consideration the ongoing concern previous carnivals did not have enough rides or the rides were shut down during the event for this year’s event.

To be bigger and better, which the carnival should be this year, regrettably takes money.

Swyeary Amusements agreed to sell the bracelets early at a lower price, which Rotary Officials urge local families on a budget to take advantage of.

The bracelets are on sale early Thursday, June 20, through Monday, July 1, 2024, for $25 each.

Rotary members said they expect Swyeary’s efficient service to manage the rides, which will minimize waiting times. The number of rides available for various age groups will make it easy to get the so-called “Bang for the Buck” during the nightly bracelet events.

Advance Ride Bracelets are on sale now at First Farmers Bank, Riddell National Bank, 1st Financial Bank, The Hometown Savings Bank, Brazil Dairy Queen, And Adamson’s Fabric Care.


In 11 years, the Brazil Rotary Club’s 4th of July will be 100 years old.

The question is, what will the event look like? What will it be?

Rotary members realize events have to grow, flow with societal changes, and think outside the box to remain relevant to their community.

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