By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Saturday night’s shooting outside of the Revere Carnival and the Showcase Cinemas could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“We are currently evaluating the situation and will determine whether an event like the carnival can take place in Revere moving forward,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “As always, the safety of our residents is my first priority.”
Arrigo thanked first responders from Revere and surrounding communities who rushed to the scene, and thanked the guests at the carnival and those at the movie theater for their patience and cooperation during a hectic and confusing situation.
Shots rang out from the parking lot around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, damaging three cars. People inside the carnival were held within the confines of the carnival and movie-goers sheltered in the cinema.
The city’s License Commission approved the carnival license on Jan. 18 for the show to run from March 22 to April 16.
John Flynn, owner of Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, N.H., said the problem is allegedly not his attractions. He equated Saturday night’s melee to the movie attraction “The Fate of the Furious.”
Fiesta Shows has been coming to Revere for the last 30 years, in the Spring in the Showcase Cinema lot and later in the summer at the beach or sometimes Wonderland.
The city of Revere benefits from Fiesta Shows by a donation to the McCarthy-Trifone Recreation Committee, which pays for youth sports in the city. Flynn said the amount varies from year to year and is based on how well the carnival does.
The carnival atmosphere has prompted other problems in the past. In 2015 three people were arrested after a fight at the carnival. There have been fights and accusations of a molestation in the past.
Council President Robert Haas Jr. said he started getting calls soon after the incident.
“This is a negative for Revere. What’s going on cannot continue,” Haas said, adding the warm temperatures and nice weather seem to draw out problems. “The weather was perfect the other night. It’s an opportunity for mischievous behavior. I think the License Commission will have to address this.”
License Commission member Linda Guinasso said the carnival has always complied with the wishes of the commission, such as police and fire details and having every employee of the carnival CORI checked.
“I’ve never been one to promote the carnival. It’s extremely unfortunate. At this point I won’t blame the carnival until everything comes down,” Guinasso said. “We have to think safety first. It’s an ongoing investigation so we’ll have to see where we go from here.”
She was unsure if the carnival owner would be called in before the Licensing Commission.
“I don’t like the publicity and its sad for those who were there to enjoy the carnival,” she added. “I’d hate to see the youth lose money.”