Joseph A. Sofo, 87, died Sunday, May 31, 2009, in the U.S. Veterans Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y.  For 58 years, Joe, along with his late wife, Micalena Pronti Sofo, owned and operated Sofo’s Amusements.  Joe was a member of the Outdoor Amusement Assn., the Greater Tampa Show Peoples Association, the Pennsylvania Showman’s Assn., and was a past president of the New York State Show Peoples Assn.  He was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in WW II in the South Pacific where he received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained at the battle of Guadalcanal.  He is survived by two sons and one daughter.

Clarence Preston, 67, manager of the Albion, New York 4H Fair died unexpectedly on May 31, 2009 at his home.  Before he became fair manager, Preston volunteered for 30-plus years at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds doing everything from mowing, watering flowers or unlocking a building for someone.  Clarence would take his vacation at fair time so he could work there.  He is survived by his wife, Ann, three children and eight grandchildren.

NICA and the OABA have joined forces as they look for better fuel programs that would serve the carnival industry on major inter-state and secondary highways in the U.S.  The idea is to negotiate with the major fuel suppliers/vendors for diesel fuel discounts.

Butler Amusements bought several rides from Michael Jackson’s now defunct Neverland Park including a Zamperla’s Samba Balloons and a large Majestic Bumper Cars.  CEO Butch Butler also reported that he had purchased a new Wind Surfer from Wisdom Industries.

Don Deggeller of Deggeller Attractions reported that the Clay County Fair in Green Cove Springs, Florida had more than twenty sponsors and that they had placed many ads with newspapers, radio and television.  The fair admitted the first 500 patrons for free believing that the ride revenue will more than make up for the lost admission fees.  Deggeller has added a Crazy Chopper from Fajume and has ordered  a Wind Surfer from Wisdom.

Show painter, Dennis Gilli, hired Chuck Burnham, “The Dark Ride Artist” to paint his fun house, “Tiki Tunnel.”  Dennis says that Chuck did a super paint job on the fun house and that he also painted the fun house for Tropical Amusements.  Chuck is now en route to cover two ride fronts for Dennis at Oscar’s Amusements.  Dennis also reports that he, (Dennis) is not retiring but is just cutting down on work involving a ladder.  “We will coordinate jobs when possible with Chuck doing the fronts and I will still be painting Carousel horses, concession trailers, trucks and of course vinyl signage,” says Gilli.  Dennis Gilli can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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