SAN DIEGO – Rides and games are officially back on at the San Diego County Fair after an agreement was reached that temporarily halts an ongoing lawsuit over the contract for the fair’s midway area.
According to fair officials, the deal was reached between the 22nd District Agricultural Association, Ray Cammack Shows and Talley Amusements, and will allow for fairgoers to enjoy a full spectrum of carnival foods, games and rides.
Officials say the association and Talley Amusements agreed to pause ongoing litigation regarding a five-year contract given to Ray Cammack Shows, giving the three parties time to come together to “focus on a successful 2022 fair.”
On Monday night, officials with RCS released the following statement to FOX 5:
“RCS’ goal has always been to produce quality entertainment at the San Diego County Fair. To make sure San Diego has a 2022 fair, RCS sat down with the district and representatives from Talley Amusements with the assistance of Judge Frasier to work out a compromise to ensure the fair takes place this year. RCS will make a further statement when all details are worked out.”
The 22nd DAA also sent FOX 5 a statement saying in part:
“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.”
In 2021, both Ray Cammack Shows and Talley Amusements submitted bids to the association to win a five-year contract to operate the fair’s Midway area. Talley Amusements submitted the better bid, but the agricultural association awarded the five-year deal to Ray Cammack Shows.
Following the contract being awarded to Ray Cammack Shows, Talley’s owners sued, saying that the situation seemed stacked in the favor of their competition.
Judge Kenneth Medel, the San Diego County judge who presided over the case, agreed with Talley, writing “The evidence presented supports an inference of ‘favoritism,’ ‘fraud’ and ‘corruption’ as to the award of public contracts, although no such definitive findings are made herein.”
Last week, Judge Medel denied a stay filed by the association, forcing the companies to work it out independently while also essentially nullifying the contract signed by Ray Cammack Shows and the association.
“We are doing everything we can to preserve a full carnival midway at the Fair,” a representative for the association said last week before the new agreement was reached. “We are continuing discussions with the involved parties about a modified contract and we remain hopeful that we can reach a meaningful and appropriate resolution very soon.”
At this time, the association says that the Del Mar Fairgrounds event will proceed as planned from June 8 through July 4.