Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County – Community leaders went to court to ask a judge to shut down a carnival in the Poconos. They say the attraction along Route 209 in Middle Smithfield Township is operating illegally.
George Chopin took his grandchildren to the carnival earlier this week. He said he had no idea about the permit issue.
"If I hada known that they didn't have a permit, then I wouldn't have taken them," he said.
Middle Smithfield Township issued a cease and desist order to stop the event but operators kept it going. Bill Love of Bushkill complained, "They shouldn't be there. It's an eyesore. If they're not there legally, they should be moved."
The man who owns the property, John Petrizzo, has a flea market permit so vendors are allows to sell items there. Petrizzo argues the carnival is a vendor just like anyone with a flew market booth. The township zoning officer Shawn Mcglynn said, "That's entirely different than a temporary use of land for something like a carnival."
Mcglynn explained carnivals need to get permits so officials can make sure the event has safe access, parking, and room for emergency vehicles to respond. "There is a requirement that the property owner comes to the township with a plan that demonstrates they can meet all those requirements,” he said.
Now it’s up to the court to decide whether the carnival stays or goes.
Petrizzo did not return repeated requests for comment on this story.