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Revere plays it safe with carnival

From left to right: John M. LaCroix, Commissioner, Robert Selevitch, Chairman, and Linda Guinasso, Commissioner of the Revere License Committee voted on Thursday to approve licensing for Fiesta Shows to continue operating the carnival at the Showcase Cinema in 2018. (Matt Demirs)

REVERE — Despite a shooting earlier this year, Fiesta Shows will hold its annual carnival in a Squire Road parking lot next spring.

But the New Hampshire-based operators will be required to boost security.

On Wednesday, the city’s License Commission approved the show set for March 21 through April 15.

Police Chief James Guido testified in favor of granting the license despite an incident when shots were fired outside the carnival in the Showcase Cinema parking lot.

“I’ve been on the job for more than 30 years and we’ve had several incidents over that time, but nothing that would justify rejecting the carnival’s application,” he said.

On April 16, just before 9 p.m. shots rang out in the theater’s parking lot next door to the rides. The cinema was evacuated and police arrived with assault-style weapons.

It turned out no one was injured, but police discovered three parked cars had been hit by bullets.

“We were never able to figure out whether the shots came from movie theater or carnival patrons,” Guido said. “There was panic, but after our lengthy investigation we were never able to determine exactly what happened, but it did not happen in the carnival itself.”

Guido said the carnival is important for Revere because a portion of the proceeds go to the city’s youth groups, including Youth Hockey, Pop Warner, and the McCarthy/Trifone Recreation Committee.

The chief said Fiesta Shows’ owners have been very cooperative and have agreed to new security measures, including cameras and metal detectors.

The only resident in attendance at the hearing to oppose the carnival was Evelyn Morris, who said it looks trashy.

“I’m sick of it,” she said. “I turn on my police radio and I hear trouble at the carnival. I’m upset that the poor chief has to come here and make these arrangements for this company.”

Still, Guido insisted the carnival is important to the city.

“There are lots of families who go to the carnival with their children because they can’t afford to go to Disney World,” he said.

Eugene Dean of Fiesta Shows did not return a call seeking comment.

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