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Carnival worker with dreams of being an artist

By Alysha Campbell

Published on July 14, 2017

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Cotton candy seems to be the popular accessory at the Summerside Lobster Carnival, donning almost every child’s face and fingers.

This sight is all too familiar to carnival worker, Justin Conohan, 18, who’s been working with East Coast Amusement for three years now.

Conohan has the best game in the midway, he insists.

“Mine is the best because you’re allowed to cheat!”

Everyone wins, and he really means that.

It was rare to see a child even walking past his game booth without smiling and that is the best part of what he does, he said.

“Making people happy, kids especially, is why I love this.”

Conohan doesn’t see this job with the midway as a permanent job.

“I want to be an artist.”

Surrounded by a rainbow of colours and neon lights, he envisions himself painting calm scenery, he said.

Painting is something he enjoys in his spare time, and would like to one day make a career out of it.

As of now though, the carnival life is the life for him. He loves it, and the people he works with, well, most of them, he said.

“We’re one big family.”

The trick to being a carnival worker is being polite and Conohan seems to have that mastered, but not all of them do. Sometimes, drama stirs up on the midway, when the "awning calling."

“Awning calling – it’s when someone from across you tries to call over people at your booth."

Stealing business isn’t right , he says, so he just remains polite and does his job.

Until the days his art pays the bills, Conohan will be trying to make everyone’s days a little brighter, because everyone’s a winner at his booth.

 

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