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San Diego County Fair will go on after organizers reach agreement with ride operator

Aerial view of the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
San Diego County Fair & Del Mar Fairgrounds
Aerial view of the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

On Monday, San Diego County Fair organizers and an amusement park operator reached a temporary agreement on a lawsuit over the fair’s process to select its midway provider. The agreement ensures the fair's ability to have carnival rides and games this year.

John Moot, the lawyer representing the plaintiff Talley Amusements, said the agreement allows multiple vendors to work together instead of just one. This is the same process from years prior.

“It’s really going back to the future,” said Moot. “And simply working with a model that has worked in the past, and with the parties involved, sharing the duties for this year’s fair.” Moot said the agreement was reached to ensure this year’s fair goes on as planned. The lawsuit against the fair’s organizers, 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA), will continue after the fair ends.


In a statement , 22nd DAA said it "is pleased to have reached this agreement and looks forward to hosting the much-anticipated return of the San Diego County Fair."

Earlier this month, San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth Medel issued an injunction on the contract for a single operator — Arizona-based Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) — to run the carnival games and rides at the fair.

On April 13, the judge denied a request from the fair for a stay of the injunction.

At the hearing, the judge told the attorney for the 22nd DAA that by granting a stay, it would essentially render his ruling that there was enough evidence to suggest that the bidding process was rigged to favor RCS meaningless.

"In evaluating the harms, I still stand by our opinion that the public interest in the integrity of our institution, coupled with Talley's — with the damage to Talley in terms of the cancellation of these contracts, that the balance of harms was in favor of the plaintiff in this case," he said.


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