Carnies' smoking, swearing prompts complaints
The Caroline Bay Association says it has no control over the presentation of the private carnival workers.
The Herald and Port FM have received more than 70 comments on their Facebook pages about the presentation of many of the private carnival workers.
Reader Anna Hughes complained about the "carnies standing around smoking swearing and burping", while Javas-Tammy Wright complained about ride operators smoking while helping kids into rides.
Dozens of people voiced similar concerns, calling some private ride operators "disgusting" and rude to children.
Kevin Ancell, who is standing down as association president, saying the carnival needed a "fresh look", said nothing could be done about the private operators at the carnival.
"We can only ask our own volunteers to behave appropriately ... the others operate their own business, and it's not our role to tell them what to do," he said.
The association has exclusive use of the facility it built and gifted to the Timaru District Council for the carnival period.
Mr Ancell said the association has a financial agreement with the private operators, which he would not disclose.
"We know the carnies' appearance isn't necessarily to everyone's taste ... but it's difficult for them. This is their livelihood. People know they don't belong to the association," he said.
Mr Ancell said the association had 115 volunteers for this year's carnival. He said each volunteer was issued with a blue shirt, and asked to bring tidy trousers. There was also a designated smoking spot.
"We try to make sure our guys hold up their end ... we've tried in the past with the private operators, and got nowhere."
Private operator Wayne Sturgeon could not be reached for comment.
Timaru district parks and recreation manager Bill Steans said the council's smoke-free policy for its playgrounds and sports grounds did not extend to the Caroline Bay entertainment complex.
- The Timaru Herald