Carnival location, lack of communication called a problem

May 8, 2023

In the wake of complaints and noise and smells from a nearby carnival, select board members agreed May 8 that neighbors should be notified in advance about events being held at the Dartmouth Mall.

Neighbors were “blindsided,’’ Select Board Chair David Tatelbaum said, when the carnival was moved from its previous location in front of the Aldi’s store near Route 6 to the rear of the parking lot, behind the Macy’s store and the cinema.

This new location sits only a tree line away from a residential neighborhood where residents had complained about the noise, which in some cases rattled homes, and fumes from generators. 

The carnival, which was operated by Fiesta Shows and ran from April 27 to May 7, was moved to the new location because Aldi, which leases the parking area in front of its grocery store, did not want it there, attorney Robert Feingold, who was representing the mall, said.

But moving it to the far rear corner brought it much closer to neighbors, resident Sarah Lamothe said. When the carnival was located near Aldi, there was about 1,000 feet between the activity and the neighborhood.

With the move, she said, “it’s 50 feet.’’

She asked that a “more transparent process’’ be undertaken by the carnival operators going forward. 

Select board member Heidi Silva Brooks suggested a better location would be in front of the Panera Bread store, which runs parallel to Faunce Corner Road.

Residents said they had previously been notified of events, but said they had heard nothing about this. They also pointed out that, far from being a one-day event, the carnival ran for 11 days, which was a long time to experience the issues.

Fiesta Shows did agree to move the generators further from the neighbors and to reduce the noise by cutting back on music. 

“We’re here to listen,’’ Feingold said, and “to resolve all issues to the extent that we can.’’

Fiesta Shows President Eugene Dean said his company holds 60 events a year, with nearly all taking place in Massachusetts, and “we’re always on someone else’s land.’’

He said that “we’re not trying to  … show disregard to the neighborhood.’’

His company, Dean noted, has “always had a good relationship with the community and we’d like to be welcomed back.’’

Select board member Shawn McDonald said earlier in the meeting that the location remains a concern for him. If the corner site is proposed again, “I’m not approving it.’’