Carnival in Dunn a sign of normalcy despite Harnett County lagging in vaccinations

Local News

DUNN, N.C. (WNCN) — Another sign that North Carolina is slowly starting to get back to normal — Dunn is holding its annual carnival this week. It comes as smaller, more rural counties are struggling to get more people vaccinated.

The rides, the games, and of course, the funnel cake — it has all the makings of a proper carnival.

“The kids obviously love carnivals, so they want to come out to the fair,” said parent Simone Tootle.

Deggeller Attractions is the company that owns this traveling carnival. Every year, it starts in Florida and makes its way up the East Coast.

“We have roughly 50 to 60 employees here. We’ve all been vaccinated — luckily in the state of Florida before we got here,” said James Ingram with Deggeller Attractions.

North Carolina is still working on getting more people vaccinated. Statewide, about 33 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. In Harnett County, where Dunn is located, that number is only 18 percent.

Under the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ county alert system, it’s listed as having substantial community spread.

“We took into, of course, the CDC guidelines, the governor’s orders, and our local vaccination rate,” said Captain Rodney Rowland, the Executive Director of the Dunn Police Athletic and Activities Leagues.

A portion of the profits from the carnival goes to that nonprofit. Rowland said it’s about 15 percent of its annual budget.

The carnival goes on until Sunday. It could be extended a few days depending on how it does. It’s taking place in the Walmart parking lot.

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