Midway Talk from the May Issue
Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows reports that it was a busy winter for the company. The show’s Zyklon Coaster was sandblasted, repainted with new colors, and fitted with LED lights. Their Mega Drop also received a new LED light package. In addition to these major projects, the show’s Dartron Slide and Crazy Plane were refurbished as well as a number of other maintenance projects. Frank also reports that he plans for the midway to go cashless later this year.
For Ray Cammack Shows, a majority of shop work is done in April, May and June. “We really have a summer quarters!” says Charlene Leavitt. RCS completes refurbishments on a rotation cycle with a “slots” system in their shop. The show is currently redoing a Giant Slide set to be installed permanently at the Los Angeles County Fair in September. They have also just finished a complete refurbishment of The Creep Show with a new paint theme. Charlene also notes that two of the show’s group games were redone. Another recent major project was the refurbishment of the Typhoon Roller Coaster that appeared at the 2011 Los Angeles County Fair. In addition to refurbishments, RCS has also replaced several rides with newer models. This includes a Starship 2000 that was replaced with an Alien Abduction; a Ghost Pirates replaced with a Zombie Mansion; and a Kiddie train replaced with a Groovy Bus Train. “We also purchased a new Flying Dutchman ride and a new Hitch-Hiker Mustard’s Café,” says Charlene.
PBJ Happee Day Shows of Marion, AR reports that they have repainted their Wisdom Moby Dick this past winter quarters. “We also set a new bearing in the Gravitron before it was sent to Denny’s Electronics for new LED lights and wrapping,” says Cody Casper of PBJ. In addition to work on rides, PBJ also spent time leveling ground on their WQ property and setting pillars to extend the ride buildings. The show recently purchased adjoining property to their existing WQ.
Skerbeck Brothers Shows of Escanaba, MI has purchased a Wisdom Orient Express and Owen Cuckoo Haus, both of which will debut on their midway this season. In addition to the purchases, WQ projects included sandblasting and painting their Twister (Ali Baba), refitting the same ride with LED lighting, a complete bearing and shock replacement on the center, sweeps, and cars on the Alpine Bobs, and racking improvements as well as a new paint job for the Spider. “We have an exceptional maintenance staff,” says Sonja Skerbeck. Sonja also informed Carnival Magazine that Skerbeck Brothers Shows is the new midway provider for the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI beginning in 2012. The 2012 event will take place May 4 – 13.
Jack Fanelli of Fanelli’s Amusements reports that it has been a pleasant winter for his show. “The weather in New England has been beautiful with little snow in southern New Hampshire,” Jack says. He and his crew have spent the winter wrapping concessions, carts, trailers, and building marquees for concessions trailers. Using a vinyl printer that Jack purchased 10 years ago, he now offers wrapping services to customers as well as in-house projects. “My son, Johnny, is the graphic designer and does the wrapping,” Jack says. “I have another part-time wrapper and designer for the busiest times.” The show also spent winter fine tuning a number of rides and performing general maintenance on vehicles. Some of the show’s kiddie rides were in operation at an indoor venue during the weekends.
For Playworld Amusements of Alma, MI winter quarters projects included a full restoration of their Zipper. “The Super Shot was also redone,” says Kyle Brady of Playworld. “The show’s Freak Out received a fresh coat of paint and some kid rides were redone.” Kyle also relayed that the show is excited for the arrival of the recently acquired Owens Traffic Jam from EK Fernandez Shows and eager to receive their new Tivoli Remix 2 and a set of new Dalton kid rides with 53-foot trailer that will also carry their Dizzy Dragons.
More reports from winter quarters in next month’s issue.
Ray Cammack Shows recently released a statement regarding a ride accident at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s midway where a three year old child fell approximately 6-8 feet from the Techno Jump ride. According to the statement, “[the accident happened] after her mother left her alone on the ride, in the care of an 8 year old relative. We are thankful the child received only very minor injuries…the young girl met the height requirements set for the ride by the manufacturer...More than 29,000 people rode this Techno Jump without incident in Houston. There are Techno Jump rides in U.S. and abroad, and the rides have an excellent and long standing record of safe operations. The ride in Houston had passed safety inspections before and after this incident and no fault was found with the operation of the ride.”
Kentucky State Fair Board President, Harold Workman, has announced his plan to retire at the end of this year. Mr. Workman has held his position since 1993 and began working with the Agricultural Department during the 1970s. He is now 66 years old. The State Fair board intends to hire a consultant to help in the nation-wide search for a new president. The board hopes to have a replacement set in no more than three months after Mr. Workman’s retirement.
According to an article in the Orange County Register, The Tustin, CA City Council approved a new carnival operator for their annual event, Tustin Tiller Days. Beginning in 2012, North American Amusements Inc. Shamrock Shows will provide rides and concessions for the early-October event n Columbus Tustin Park.
From the Bangor Daily News, Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, NH has signed a five-year contract for the Bangor State Fair. The show has provided the event’s midway for the past 21 years. This year’s event will take place July 27 through August 5 at Bass Park.
C. Cretors and Company announced a new line of stainless steel caramelizers called the CMD line. The CMD25, CMD50, and CMD100 combination cookers and mixers allow businesses to easily cook and mix a variety of savory and caramel flavors. The machines are fully-automated so there is no need for manual mixing. Optional built-in blowers that blow cool air through the perforated steel tray bottom are available and speed up the production process. The machines also feature one-switch operation as well as a digital temperature controller with audible alarm. For more information visit www.cretors.com.
Frank M. Briggs, owner of Modern Midways, passed away on Tuesday, March 13. Age 68, Frank suffered a heart attack while at home. He was a lifelong member of the carnival industry, beginning his career at the age of 8 when he took a job rolling paper cups for snow cones. Frank is survived by his wife, Charlene; three sons, Robert, Edward, and Frank Jr.; two sisters, Patricia Briggs and Kathleen Kerrigan; and five grandchildren.
“Concessionaire Extraordinaire” Mitchell L. Buxton died at the age of 62 on March 19. Mitchell was born on February 2, 1950 and was on Merriam’s Midway for 40 years. Mitchell is survived by his wife, Martha Buxton; son, Paul Geannakouri; daughter, Katy Buxton; parents, David and Catherine Buxton; brother, Tom Kevin Buxton; sisters, Pam Buxton, Debbie (Sorg) Buxton, Jodie Buxton and Kathyleen (Frey) Buxton; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
George Bozinis of Horsheads, NY passed away at the age of 82 on March 3. George spent many years traveling to fairs and other events where he sold and showcased his custom carving redwood signs. George was a member of the industry from 1947 until 2002 when he retired due to health. His father, Nick Bozinis, founded Southern Tier Shows with James E. Strates. George grew up with E. James Strates and both men worked together in Bingo games after graduating high school. Among the fairs that George participated in were The New York State Fair, North Carolina State Fair, and the Eastern States Exposition. George is survived by his wife, Great Paige Bozinis and sister, Marie Shea.■