Midway Talk from the January Issue
Rob Vivona of Amusements of America told Carnival Magazine that the show has purchased a new Wisdom Sizzler as well as a Falgas Far West Train. In winter quarters the show will refurbish their double decker dark ride manufactured by Barbison and build new bunkhouses. Both projects are planned for completion in time for spring. In March Amusements of America will add a Denny’s Electronics LED light package to their KMG Fireball.
In addition to the new Chance Freestyle set for delivery to Ray Cammack Shows this spring, Chance Rides reports that contracts for a family coaster going to Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium in Phoenix, AZ and a Revolution 20 going to Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, KY were signed during the 2012 IAAPA Attractions Expo. The coaster is set for delivery in 2014 and Revolution 20 for this spring. According to the ride manufacturer, information about the new Freestyle was met with favorable reviews at the IAAPA Attractions Expo as well as at the IAFE Convention in Las Vegas, NV.
The Royal American Shows are set to be featured on an upcoming episode of the History Channel’s American Pickers. Show hosts Mike and Frank visit with a past employee of the Royal during their journeys. The show consulted Carnival Magazine for research during production of the episode which is to air soon.
The Nebraska State Fair won a number of awards at November’s IAFE Convention and Trade Show including first place in the category of communications. The fair’s website (statefair.org), electronic newsletter, mobile app, and overall mobile campaign were all factors leading to the honor. The 2013 Nebraska State Fair will run from August 23 through September 2. Wade Shows will provide the midway. This marks the show’s first year as midway provider at the Nebraska State Fair.
James Gang Amusements of Andalusia, Alabama has been awarded the contract for the 87th annual Putnam County Fair in Cookeville, Tennessee. According to the Herald Citizen newspaper, the show will provide about 30 rides along with 5 food concessions and around 20 games. Mega Midway Entertainment has provided the event’s midway for the past 10 years. Dates of the Putnam County Fair in 2013 are August 1 through 10.
A new attendance record was set at the 94th Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna, MN, which ran from August 14 through 19, 2012. Along with the highest attendance ever at 321,396 guests, the fair also grossed its highest number at $1,082,236.00. Gold Star Amusements of Minneapolis, Minnesota provided the midway. It was the first year of a two year contract for Gold Star who provided about 40 rides. Carnival gross also set a record at $150,963.00, up 28% from 2011. Top rides were led by the Freak Out, Century Wheel, Alpine Bobs, Muzik Express, and Remix II. The 2013 Steele County Fair will run from August 13 through 18.
The Ohio State Fair saw a profit for a fifth straight year in 2012. “We’re not in the business to make a lot of money, but it’s great when we do,” Fair Manager Virgil Strickler told the Columbus Dispatch. Attendance was slightly up in 2012 compared to the year before with 840,306 attendees—the second highest attended 12-day Ohio State Fair since 2004. Amusements of America provides the midway for the Ohio State Fair, which runs from July 24 through August 4 in 2013.
The Volusia County Fair & Youth Show reports that attendance hit 185,500 at this year’s November 1 – 11 event. The figure marks the event’s second best attendance since opening in 1923. Deggeller Attractions is the midway provider for the Volusia County Fair. Along the midway gross was up by 6 percent compared to 2011 and was recorded as an all-time record at the event.
Film star Jennifer Garner was spotted enjoying amusement rides with her two young daughters while filming a movie in New Orleans this holiday season. She was spotted along with her daughters at City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks riding a merry-go-round, amusement wheel, and bumper cars. The attractions are owned by the city park.
Current Showman’s League of America President, Chris Atkins, reports that the annual SLA banquet and ball in Las Vegas was a huge success. “Sam Johnston surprised attendees with a huge movie star, literally,” he says in reference to a visit from Tai, the elephant star of the film, “Water for Elephants.” Tai was available for photos at the banquet. “The highlight of the evening was the ‘Let’s Dance’ competition, which raised money for the SLA, OABA, and IAFE,” says Chris. “The banquet was well attended and all had a great time.” See next month’s issue of Carnival Magazine for a complete article on the Showman’s League of America’s 100th year.