Midway Talk from July 2011 Issue
Dennis Guthrie of Orlando, FL passed away on Saturday, June 4. Dennis was in the business for nearly 50 years. According to Darrell Desgranges who worked with Dennis with Deggeller Attractions, he began as a concessionaire and later owned a Bumper Car Ride. In addition to Deggeller Attractions, Dennis worked with Crown Amusements, and Pugh Shows. Along with his Brothers Pat and Ray Guthrie, Dennis produced the Atlanta Fair. Dennis is survived by his daughter, Frances Guthrie and son, also named Dennis who is a food concessionaire in Seattle. A memorial service will be held this summer in Kentucky.
Peter Joseph of Jolly Shows reports that he is positive about the season despite wet weather at late spring/early summer events. The Annapolis-based carnival refurbished their Zipper, Dragon Wagon, and Bear Affair this past winter quarters. In recent years, many of their early season
spots have been on the uptick, especially their shopping mall locations in 2009 and 2010. Weather looked to be improving
for upcoming events in Petersburg, VA and Chesapeake Bay, VA. Jolly Shows provides midways in Maryland and Virginia.
Billy Clark of Smokey Mountain Amusements, Robbinsville, NC has resigned the Iredell County Fair in North Carolina to a five-year
contract. Also on a new five-year contract is the Stokes County Fair in King, NC. Smokey Mountain Amusements also resigned the Caldwell County Fair in Lenoir, NC to a 3-year contract. Billy Clarke also reports that their new Wacky Worm is doing well on the midway.
In June press release, Prairie Financial, Inc. announced that Boulevard Bank and purchased the assets of Prairie Financial. Boulevard Bank is a community bank with services primarily in Neosho and St. Louis, Missouri. Prairie Financial’s employees (now employees
of Boulevard Bank), processes, and guiding principles will remain intact, but will now have the backing of Boulevard Bank’s added support and resources. The newly combined operations will allow Prairie Financial to continue to meet the Outdoor Amusement industry’s needs
with greater timeliness, sophistication, and stability. “We have worked with Boulevard Bank over the past six years to meet our customers’ specialized capital needs,” said Paul Muller, Founder of Prairie Financial. “In that time, the relationship between our two companies has
strengthened as we collaborate on behalf of our evolving customer base.” Prairie Financial will continue to be based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and can be reached at (816) 554-3863.
John Owens of OABA reports that the organization’s Senior Vice President, Al De Rusha, is hosting two upcoming Jammin’ Jamborees. The first will be August 12 with McDonagh’s Amusements in Armada, MI. Second up is August 31 in Bethany, MO with Toby’s Carnival.
In July, Al De Rusha hosted Jammin’ Jamborees with S&S Amusements in Pottstown, PA (July 7) and A Fantasy Amusement Company in St. Charles, IL (July19). You can schedule a Jammin’ Jamboree by calling Al at 952-736-0896.
The IAFE has announced the keynote speaker lineup for their 2011 annual convention. Mark Scharenbroich
of Nice Bike: Making Meaningful Connections on the Road OF Life will be Monday’s speaker. On Wednesday, Joel Manby, CEO of Herschend Family Corp will present. Steve Schussler, CEO of Schussler Creative Institute and creator of Rainforest Café will cap of the presentations as
Thursday’s Keynote Speaker. The IAFE Convention will take place on November 28 – December 1, 2011.
J.C. Evans, Chairman of Gold Medal® Products Co., will receive the 2011 National Association of Concessionaires’ Mickey Warner
Award at the July NAC Annual Convention & Trade Show. The award is named for the originator of the
NAC Concession Manager Certification program and a great innovator and educator for the concessions industry. “We are so pleased to be honoring J.C. Evans for his leadership, innovation and contributions to both the concessions industry and to the National Association of Concessionaires,” stated NAC President Ron Krueger II of Southern Theatres. J.C. grew up in the concession industry after his father, David C. Evans, started Gold Medal in 1931. J.C. was also the first recipient of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association’s Pioneer Award.
Charlie Boghosian of Chicken Charlie’s introduced Deep-fried Kool-Aid at this year’s San Diego County Fair. The new concession was a hit on the midway and became the talk of many media outlets across the country and Europe. The deep-fried balls are comprised of flour, water, and cherry
flavored-flavored Kool-Aid powder. Charlie sold hundreds of orders of the concession every day of the fair
and went through 150 pounds of Kool-Aid powder in the first four days of the event.
North American Midway Entertainment provided the midway for the record-breaking Frontier Days in Arlington Heights, IL Thursday June 30 –
Monday, July 4. Estimates indicate that 150,000 people attended the event, which celebrates its 36th
year. As part of the event, N.A.M.E. offered free rides and food on Citizens with Disabilities Day. Over 1,000 individuals with disabilities and
their families attended the celebration. Alongside N.A.M.E., musical entertainment included Lee Greenwood, Gin Blossoms, Kansas, Lonestar, and
Wagner’s Carnival of Aransas Pass, Texas is set to play the Marion County Fair in Hillsboro from July 27 through July 30. Advance ticket sales for the midway have been the strongest in the events history. The carnival offered $15 advance tickets good for unlimited ride access on one day
of the event. The special was available at local banks and grocery stores. Ten present of each ticket sold will be donated by Wagner’s Carnival will be
donated to community youth groups. The unlimited ride tickets will cost $20 at the event. Wagner’s Carnival added two rides to their
midway for the season, a Puppy Love and a Wipeout.
The IAAPA’s Asian Attractions Expo was a success in 2011 with an estimated 4,900 in attendance. The expo took place June 21 – 24 in Singapore. 236 companies were on hand on the trade show floor. Next year’s Asian Attractions Expo will take place in Hong Kong, June 5 – 8.
A sudden windstorm caused damage at Wisdom Rides headquarters near Sterling, CO. The storm blew in on Thursday, June 30. The
storm brought with it heavy rains, hail, and heavy winds. A wheel set up on the property was blown over and power lines were downed. According
to Victor Wisdom, a microburst resulting from the storm caused the damage. In particular, two heavy gusts of wind caused most of the wreckage. One of Wisdom’s employees was taken to the hospital as a precaution after a power line hit the
pickup truck he was in. The winds also moved panels and other objects, but the damage to the Wheel was the largest
result of the storm. For more information, visit the Midway Talk online at carnivalmag.com for a link to a
newspaper story about the storm.
Carnival employee, Steve McCann died on Tuesday, July 5 while tearing down a ride for an Independence Day celebration in Sand Lake,
Michigan. Steve had worked for McDonagh’s Amusements for the past three years. He was working on the show’s Fireball when he touched a power line. An autopsy will determine if he was killed by the shock or by falling. “It’s just an unfortunate, terrible tragedy,” carnival owner Tom McDonagh told the Chicago