A challenge to a new contract for carnival activities and rides at the Orange County Fair will be heard March 23 by a state panel that oversees county fair contracts in the state.
The Orange County Fair Board approved a contract with Arizona-based Ray Cammack Shows, which would replace Fountain Valley-based B&B Amusements.
B&B, which has provided rides for the Orange County Fair the past 10 years, accused Cammack of misstating the availability of its carnival rides and the Orange County Fair Board of denying B&B a fair chance to win the contract.
The Cammack outfit has provided rides for the Los Angeles County Fair for 10 years.
A panel in the state General Services Department, which oversees contracts for county fairs, will hear the challenge.
The panel is expected to release a decision four to six weeks after the hearing.
Cammack was selected twice by the Fair Board. B&B contested the first contract based on a technical point in the bid specifications.
Because the Fair Board believed the instruction could have been misinterpreted, it opted to rebid the contract in early January, officials said.
B&B filed its second protest after Cammack was chosen again, contending fair officials did not correctly review the bids and did not afford a chance to present a bid to the Fair Board.
B&B also said the contract was awarded to Cammack despite the company's alleged scheduling conflicts with other fairs.
B&B also alleged in its protest that one member of the evaluation team has had close business ties with both carnival operators that created a potential conflict of interest and that another member was not qualified to evaluate the bids.
Fair officials will negotiate a one-year-only agreement with Cammack to make sure a contract for the carnival midway is in place in time to plan 1995 fair events.
The balance of the three-year contract will be subject to the General Services decision.