Mid­way fam­ily brings ex­cite­ment to city

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Front Page - By Joyce Wal­ter For Moose Jaw Ex­press

The car­ni­val trucks have re­turned to the coun­try’s high­ways, mov­ing from city to city in the annual trek to bring thrilling rides and games of luck to res­i­dents of hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ties. Books have been writ­ten about the life of the car­ni­val op­er­a­tors, trav­el­ling a no­madic route from place to place, then pack­ing up and mov­ing on in the mid­dle of the night to set up on sched­ule at the next lo­ca­tion. The Hauser fam­ily from Bri­tish Columbia has en­joyed that life­style for sev­eral decades and now has four gen­er­a­tions of fam­ily mem­bers liv­ing the life, bring­ing a clean, bright and ex­cit­ing show to fairs and ex­hi­bi­tions in the Western prov­inces. This is the fam­ily that for sev­eral days this week will make Moose Jaw home while it sets up and op­er­ates the West Coast Amuse­ments mid­way on the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds. The Hausers have been part of Moose Jaw’s summer for more than 30 years and have made long-time friends in the city, as they do in the many other lo­ca­tions that at­tract one of its sev­eral mo­bile units. This fam­ily takes im­mense pride in its rides and games, spend­ing the win­ter months paint­ing and re­fur­bish­ing and even go­ing on buy­ing ex­pe­di­tions to bring new games and rides to its Cana­dian cus­tomers. Safety is of prime con­cern and both in­ter­nal and govern­ment in­spec­tions are done with reg­u­lar­ity. Rides and games are laid out with a pre­ci­sion that leaves “civil­ians” in awe, watch­ing as unit man­agers eye­ball the grounds and then go into setup mode, know­ing ex­actly where to place par­tic­u­lar rides, games, food con­ces­sions, gen­er­a­tors, work­shops and liv­ing quar­ters. There is a rhyme and rea­son to how rides and games are laid out, one of them be­ing re­lated to traf­fic flow, an­other to security, and a third, the in­evitabil­ity of poor weather — a sit­u­a­tion that some­times re­quires op­er­a­tors to en­gage their emer­gency plans to pro­tect lives and equip­ment. In ad­di­tion to sup­port­ing exhibition boards and agri­cul­tural so­ci­eties in part­ner­ship com­mu­ni­ties, the trav­el­ling car­ni­val is a source of eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the local busi­ness es­tab­lish­ment. In Moose Jaw, West Coast Amuse­ments buys fuel for its con­voy of trucks, uses laun­dro­mats, pur­chases re­pairs for equip­ment, eats meals in local restaurants, buys food sup­plies at local gro­cery mar­kets, shops in local stores, hires some local work­ers and in all of that leaves many thou­sands of dol­lars be­hind when it pulls out to head to Swift Cur­rent — where it all be­gins again. With the demise of so many of the trav­el­ling car­ni­val com­pa­nies, com­mu­ni­ties that are able to en­gage a mid­way are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries, of­fer­ing local res­i­dents an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the ex­cite­ment of sup­port­ing the fair when the mid­way comes to town. The rides that come to Moose Jaw of­fer per­haps the only op­por­tu­nity some chil­dren and adults will have to be thrilled and ex­cited by the spin­ning, rock­ing and div­ing of the mod­ern mid­way. The mid­way is a won­der­ful com­ple­ment to the agri­cul­tural shows, the rodeo, en­ter­tain­ment and food booths that tra­di­tion­ally make up fairs and ex­hi­bi­tions through­out Canada. Moose Jaw res­i­dents would be liv­ing up to the Friendly City’s rep­u­ta­tion if they were to ex­tend a hand in wel­come to the Hauser fam­ily and its many em­ploy­ees while they make the city a stop­ping point en­route to yet an­other des­ti­na­tion. Thanks to this trav­el­ling en­tourage for bring­ing ex­cite­ment to Moose Jaw.

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