Columbus Town Council votes to bring rides back to Fabulous Fourth Event

Published 11:43 am Friday, February 2, 2024

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New contract promises rides, food and family fun


COLUMBUS—The Columbus Town Council held a specially called meeting on Thursday, February 1, to discuss rides and entertainment for the upcoming 2024 Fabulous Fourth of July celebration. 

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No rides were present at last year’s event due to the previous ride vendor company, ABC Amusements, no longer being in operation. Previous Fabulous Fourth events have featured rides such as Ferris wheels, carousels and spinning rides, and other attractions.   

“Last year we were in the hole over $24,000. I think it shows how pivotal having the rides will be,” said Councilman Mark Phillips. “The numbers show the impact of not having the rides. We also had less vendors last year. The turnout wasn’t as good. It shows we’ve got to have rides.” 

For the 2024 celebration, the council considered a contract with R&D Amusements, a company based out of Lincolnton, NC, that’s been providing entertainment-related services since 2018.

R&D will receive $10,000 to provide entertainment for the event. The contract also entails that the town of Columbus will receive 15% of every dollar made over $10,000.

In exchange, R&D will provide eight rides in total. The adult rides will be The Sidewinder or The Hurricane, The Sizzler, The Round Up and The Spinner. They will also provide children’s rides such as boats, a walkthrough funhouse, a motorcycle ride and a kiddie roller coaster. They will supply a funnel cake trailer and a cotton candy trailer, which will have fried Oreos, lemonade, popcorn, candy apples, snow cones and beverages. There will be other concessions sold outside of Stearns Park on Mills Street, though the vendors are as of yet to be determined. 

There will also be bounce houses and the traditional fireworks. 

R&D Amusements will have a ticket booth on site with wristbands and tickets. Tickets will be sold for one dollar each, with family packs available of 25 tickets for $25, and 50 tickets for $45.

Wristbands for all rides will be sold for $20 during the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. Outside of these hours, only tickets and ticket packages may be purchased.

A motion to approve the contract with R&D Amusements for the Fabulous Fourth event was passed unanimously. The rain date for the event will be July 6.