New London incident not isolated
OLIVIA -- New London's Water Days was not the only area stop Minnesota Magic Midway had on its 2015 calendar. This week's Corn Capital Days in Olivia was supposed to feature its carnival, too.
OLIVIA - New London’s Water Days was not the only area stop Minnesota Magic Midway had on its 2015 calendar. This week’s Corn Capital Days in Olivia was supposed to feature its carnival, too.
The carnival’s no-show was easier for Olivia to stomach, though, as no money ever changed hands.
According to Olivia City Administrator Dan Coughlin, in January, Ed “Skip” Reinke, owner of Minnesota Magic Midway, offered to bring his rides and games to Corn Capital Days to fill an opening in his schedule. Reinke and the city agreed to a contract in January that did not feature a down payment as New London’s had.
Coughlin said that Reinke promised to keep in touch as the event drew nearer. When Corn Capital Days planners began considering advertising, Coughlin called Reinke to make sure of his commitment. According to Coughlin, Reinke said he was busy and that he would call back. He never did.
“When I tried calling him again, he answered, and when I said who it was, the line went dead,” Coughlin said. “Every other time that I tried contacting him, somebody would answer, and when I announced who I was, suddenly the line was dead.”
Other members of the festival’s committee tried contacting him, including the town’s mayor and police chief. Their calls, along with the West Central Tribune’s calls, were similarly ignored.
Organizers decided to drop any mention of the carnival from its advertising after that.
“Early on, we just said ‘You know, these guys are just so disorganized. We don’t want to over-promise and underdeliver,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin said the town got rather lucky with how things played out.
“It’s not as sad of a story as New London’s was, simply because we didn’t put as much emphasis on (the carnival),” said Coughlin, adding that Olivia was determined to explore bringing a carnival to next year’s Corn Capital Days.
“We’re going to find the best of the best and get them nailed down in the schedule early in the winter,” Coughlin said.
On Wednesday, Ed Reinke told KMSP-TV that his April open-heart surgery was to blame for his absence from New London Water Days.