2014 Midway Talk
December 2014 Midway Talk
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Specialty Insurance Group (SIG), the International
Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), and Britton Gallagher
are developing and implementing a certification program for Family
Entertainment Centers focused on risk management and safety awareness that
will include an online portal for educational segments.
are excited to participate in the development of this very important program,"
said David Harris, SIG Senior Vice President, "Our goal is to help our
customers better understand and manage risk, which can then translate into cost
savings on their liability insurance. It is a win-win for all of us."
Gallagher, through its Amusement Insurance Resources division, has a long
history of serving the amusement and family entertainment industry. "With our
team members serving on association councils, obtaining safety certification
and staying on top of the latest regulations, it was only natural for us to
work with IAAPA and SIG to bring together this new certification program,"
commented Drew Tewksbury, Senior Vice President | Director of Amusement
Insurance Resources at Britton Gallagher. "We understand our clients thrive on
spotless safety records and this new program can help minimize their risks by
providing the risk and safety education resources, along with liability and
exposure management tools and strategies."
Insurance Group (SIG), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a member company of
Everest Re Group, Ltd. and operates within the specialty insurance industry.
Britton Gallagher was founded on July 1st,
1942 and is headquartered in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
board of directors of the International Association of Amusement Parks and
Attractions (IAAPA) has elected Greg Hale second vice chairman. Hale is vice
president and chief safety officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.
He will be IAAPA's second vice chairman in 2015, first vice chairman in 2016,
and then lead the association as its chairman of the board in 2017.
"Greg Hale is passionate about the global attractions
industry and about IAAPA," said Bob Rippy, chairman of the IAAPA
Governance Committee that is responsible for nominating the second vice
chairman to the board of directors. "His industry knowledge combined with
his proven track record of leadership on safety-related issues and other
complex industry matters make him an ideal second vice chairman for
Hale is a 26-year veteran of the Walt Disney Company. He
joined Walt Disney World in 1988 as manager of electrical and electronics
engineering, ride and show engineering in 1989. He was named director of
facilities and attractions regulatory compliance in 1995 and promoted to vice
president of design, engineering, and regulatory compliance in 1999. In 2002,
he was promoted to vice president and chief safety officer for Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts and leads a global team of ride design, operations, and
maintenance professionals that keep Disney on the leading edge of theme park
safety, accessibility for guests with disabilities, and technology
advancements. Hale currently holds 63 patents around the world that have
contributed to numerous innovations and inventions in the amusement industry.
Hale holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical
engineering from the University of Mississippi.
International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has added
three new employees and promoted two others. Felicia Fett is now IAAPA's board of directors
and committee administrator; Melony Bildhauer joins the IAAPA team as director,
meetings and special events; and Alma Aguilar is the new an administrative
assistant for Latin America. Fett and Bildhauer report to IAAPA's headquarters
office in Alexandria, Virginia, while Aguilar will work from IAAPA's Latin
American regional office in Mexico City, Mexico.
headquarters employees, Colleen Mangone and Victor Danau, have been promoted to
director, media relations, and director, education programs and services,
Fett joins IAAPA after 15 years in
strategic planning, nonprofit board and organizational administration, governance,
development, and fundraising management. Her previous employers include
Africare, Raffa, Freddie Mac, and the Freddie Mac Foundation. As IAAPA's board
of directors and committee administrator, Fett provides the association's
president and CEO and executive vice president with administrative and project
management support relating to the IAAPA Board of Directors, the association's
executive and finance committee, and assists with committee administration
throughout the organization.
Bildhauer assists in planning and facilitating
IAAPA's conferences, meetings, and events around the world. Before joining
IAAPA, Bildhauer served as the senior meeting planner for the NTCA – the Rural
Broadband Association, and previously as deputy director of conference
management with Envision EMI. She was also the program manager of 20 clubs with
the National Association of Home Builders.
Mangone's responsibilities include managing IAAPA
News Flash, the association's website content strategy, co-managing the
charitable programs, and overseeing executive communications for the
association. She also oversees IAAPA's media relations strategy.■
November 2014 Midway Talk
LUMBERTON, N.C. — Edward Reiner, of New Milford, Conn., a 53-year-old
employee of Dreamland Amusements, died after being shot on Sept. 29. A 19-year-old Lumberton man was arrested and
charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a dangerous
weapon. The incident reportedly occurred
across the street from the fairgrounds.
Dreamland Amusements was in
Lumberton for the Robeson County Fair, Oct. 3-11.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- According to a story in The
Charlotte Observer, North Carolina's most recent gun law could allow concealed
firearms at this year's state fair (Oct. 16-26).
However, fair officials
are planning extra security and hope to continue a no-weapons policy.
Steve Troxler, the state's
agriculture commissioner and the head of the fair, said in a statement to The
Observer: "We're not changing any policy that we've had in the past. Hopefully ... we'll get the word out now – leave
them in the car."
WINNIE, Tex. -- A woman who was part of a carnival work
crew was killed on Sept. 24 while setting up for the Texas Rice Festival.
The 30-year-old woman was struck by equipment about 4
p.m. on the job site in Winnie Stowell Park, the Chambers County Sheriff's
Office said. Her name was not immediately released, pending notification of her
She was struck while removing a transportation brace as
the crew was setting up the carnival for this weekend's Texas Rice Festival
When Winnie Emergency Medical Service technicians responded to
the scene, they found the woman unresponsive and immediately started CPR, the
sheriff's office said. CPR continued as the woman was taken by ambulance about
one mile to Winnie Community Hospital, where medical staff
members were unable to revive the woman.
Chambers County investigators determined the accident was
not related to the carnival rides, which had not been assembled, the sheriff's
WEST ALLIS, Wis.–
Wisconsin State Fair Park Officials announced that the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair,
presented by U.S. Cellular, once again celebrated a record-breaking year on
weekends brought out large crowds, including two of the highest paid attendance
days in the history of the fair.
Aug. 2, attendance reached more than 128,000, and Saturday,
Aug. 9,saw an even larger crowd of nearly 137,000. While the weekends drew large
crowds, weekdays proved to be popular this year as well; each day of the fair saw
70,000 – 137,000people
come through the gates.
celebrated the event together, the second year in a row that attendance has reached
over one million. The attendance in 2013 reached 1,012,552, which was the
largest reported overall fair attendance since 1969.
State Fair has long been considered one of the top Fairs in the United States
by many measures, and achieving attendance of over one million two years in a
row solidifies this even more," stated Rick Frenette, chief executive officer of
Wisconsin State Fair Park. "It is an honor to reach this landmark number again,
showing how much people truly enjoy
this historic 11 days that
well-known throughout the amusement and theme park industry as part of the
Interlink team, passed away at the end of August.
Anderson began his
career in the industry, somewhat by default, after he was asked to build a
monorail for the UK park, Flamingoland, in North Yorkshire in 1983. In that same year, he founded ride
manufacturer Mimafab Ltd. and subsequently went on to work for Interlink in
areas of expertise were in engineering and fabrication, in particular with
water-based leisure attractions, while he also had many years' experience in
the operation of rides in parks. He
managed Interlink's UK company, working as technical and commercial director,
and was also responsible for the company's rides installation division. He celebrated his 70th birthday on July 15.
First Data has partnered with Apple
to create the Apple Payments. Consumers will now be able to securely
store their credit card information into their phone and use that phone as a
tap and go payment feature in lieu of swiping and carrying a credit card.
Clover has been a success in the
concessions industry, with food vendors and fairs using the Clover. First
Data has begun to get auditors approvals to use the Clover and it's reporting
in lieu of a basic register. By adding the FD40X pin pad to the Clover,
your Clover stations will now be able to accept tap and go and EMV payments
card (Chip Cards).
has reduced pricing for NICA members. To
get more information on Clover, go to www.Clover.com.
Questions can be found at www.help.clover.com
"Our mission is to help
our clients grow their businesses, and this collaboration helps us do that by
securing and facilitating a new payment instrument soon to be in the
hands of millions of consumers," said Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of
The Euro Attractions
Show (EAS) concluded in Amsterdam, on Sept. 25.
Over the last three days (Sept. 23-25), the event realized
the highest number of exhibitors, the largest amount of exhibit space, and a
record attendance by visitors. It is the
largest trade show for the attractions industry in Europe and this edition in
Amsterdam has been the most successful in the event's 11-year history.
is organized by the International Association of Amusement Parks and
Attractions (IAAPA) and rotates every year over different European
countries. IAAPA Vice President of
European Operations, Karen Staley said: "Again Amsterdam has proven to be
the right place for our show. With numerous
projects going on in the northwest part of Europe and with a strong and dynamic
industry in the Benelux-region, we had high expectations but these figures are
really extraordinary." ■
Midway Talk From September 2014 Issue
Billy Clark of
Smokey Mountain Amusements (Robbinsville, N.C.) reported an outstanding year
for the Fourth of July Celebration (June 26-July 5), held annually in Faith,
N.C. Clark added that he has signed a
five-year extension with the Faith Fourth of July Celebration. Also, during the week-long event, MGM Studios
filmed parade scenes for the motion picture Max,
scheduled for release on Jan. 30, 2015.
The movie is about a dog that helped soldiers in Afghanistan, returns to
the U.S. and is adopted by his handler's family, after suffering a traumatic
Powers of Powers Great American Midways (Burgaw, N.C.) has taken delivery of a
Majestic Fly-o-Plane, complete with background artwork. According to Powers, grosses have been up at
PGAM's dates. The carnival is also
looking forward to the arrival of a KMG Inversion.
Walter F. Larson,
original manufacturer of the Super Loops ride, died on July 18, 2014. Larson, born Sept. 26, 1930, worked as a
charter pilot and held special fond memories of the medical charter flights he
flew. Later, he opened a Ferguson
tractor dealership which became known as Larson-Turner Massey-Ferguson located
in Plainview. After selling the dealership, Larson ventured into manufacturing
high clearance tractors. He possessed a
unique and uncanny ability to take what was good and make it awesome. These
tractors were customized for a number of unique applications which included
being used on tomato plantations, harvesting grapes and corn de-tasseling. He
also manufactured Versa-trac highway sweepers.
In the early 1970s, he began manufacturing amusement rides and is best
known for the Super Loops carnival ride, known today as The Ring of Fire. Featured in the movie "Big," Super Loops
was the ride Tom Hanks was not big enough to ride. He retired in 2007. Larson is survived by his wife (Sharon) of
more than 64 years.
Richard (Dick) Dykes died July17,2014 in a
hospital in Dover, Del. Dick was
recently known for his blog on the internet as The Balloon Man, reporting on
circus and carnival news. He was born
in Salisbury, Md., on May 13,1943, along with his twin brother Bill, who
preceded him in death on April 27, 1995.
The Dykes brothers were inseparable until Bill passed away.
started their show business career early in life with kiddie rides and a
petting zoo at malls and shopping centers.
They had a successful grocery store and restaurant in Salisbury, but the
call of the road was stronger. Soon they
were ride and backend show owners with World of Mirth Shows. In the interim, they promoted wrestling and
Lippizan Stallion shows. They owned
Dykes & Whorton Circus and operated novelty stands.
Dykes was associated with Hoxie Bros. Circus, Great American Circus, Cole Shows
operated by Billy Martin, and Robert Bros. Circus. They also operated concessions on Taylor
& Sons Shows, B and B, S & S Shows and many others.
After his brother passed
away, Dick settled in Dover, Del., and managed a business for Little Richard at
his mobile home park. Ill health caused
him to retire several years ago and he continued to live in Dover.
After cremation, Dick was buried
next to his brother in Salisbury, Md.
Mary Vakulskas, mother of Tom, Janet,Maria and
Father John Vakulskas died July 20, 2014, in Sioux City, Iowa. Father John is known around the country's midways.
Specialty Insurance Group (SIG) has
been launched by three specialty and risk insurance veterans. Greg Mosher, David Harris and Lowery Robinson
form a highly experienced group of insurance professionals with the ability to
provide unique custom programs for the ever-changing needs of the dynamic markets
of entertainment, sports and leisure.
The SIG team brings an exceptional
blend of experience with an extensive product portfolio to the challenging
environment of sports, leisure and entertainment.
Specialty Insurance Group (SIG) is an
Indianapolis-based company operating within the specialty insurance
industry. Focused on the development of
and creative programs that fit the business models of their partners, SIG
a multitude of programs within the sports, leisure and entertainment markets.
Oren Neck, the "Or" in Ormic
Concessions and husband to wife Mickey ("mic"), passed away a few
months back. A retired federal government employee, Oren commenced
a new career, almost two decades ago, as an independent food concessionaire
based out of Brownsville, which is at the southern tip of Texas, bordering
Mexico. The company, whose featured food offering are jumbo, barbecued turkey
legs, book with such organizations as 20th Century Independent Midways (Leonard
Martin/Corpus Christi, Texas) and the Mighty Thomas Carnival (John Hanschen/Austin, Texas).
October 2014 Midway Talk
OCTOBER 2014 MIDWAY TALK
Ind. – Showmen Supplies, a lighting and electrical products
distributor for the amusement
industry, has reached an agreement with the Fabbri
Group, an Italian manufacturer
of amusement rides, to be the exclusive distributor of
Fabbri amusement ride parts for
the United States and Canada.
Siefker, Vice President of Showmen Supplies, said, "Because our core
already revolves around the
logistics of component part supply, we felt we were ideally
suited to managing a ride parts
distributorship to service Fabbri ride owners." When
asked what would be the greatest benefit of this deal, Siefker stated, "We have 48 years
of customer service experience
in the amusement industry. This will be a great
advantage to owners of Fabbri
equipment whose business depends on having their rides
in operation and not out of
commission while they wait for shipments to arrive from
Europe. We know that when they
call they need replacement parts to be in stock and
shipped quickly and we have a
great history of doing exactly that."
in 1966 by the Siefker family, Showmen Supplies has long been servicing the
amusement industry by providing
specialty lighting, electrical, power distribution and ride
parts from their facility in La
Porte and from their mobile warehouses that travel across
the country to service major
fairs and carnivals on site. Along the way their business and
inventory has evolved in
response to the industry's needs. For that reason Scott Siefker
reasoned that, "handling
ride parts was a natural expansion for us."
month, Showmen Supplies acquired the existing US-based Fabbri parts inventory
from Amusement Sales, Inc. and
has embarked on an expansion of that inventory to
have the most commonly sought
parts readily available to Fabbri ride owners.
Confronting the task now before
them, Scott Siefker said, "We'll have lots of work to do
in expanding our parts database,
learning the equipment functionality, and familiarizing
ourselves with new mechanical
systems but I know we're up for the challenge and will do
a great job for our customers."
Powers Great American Midway
supplied the attractions for the 138th Schoharie County Sunshine
Fair, held in Cobleskill, N.Y., July 26-Aug. 2. Gillette Shows had previously played this date
for many years.
Six years ago, the fair went from
six to nine days in order to get in two weekends. The first two years saw a nice increase in
business but then two years of bad weather followed. The last two years, gross revenues were
The fair featured
agricultural-related activities, as Cobleskill is in the heart of a farm area.
Motorized grandstand events, rodeo and roll over derby were featured throughout
the nine days.
On the grounds were free
attractions and nightly music stars.
Maryland State Fair had a newly designed Kiddieland, featuring 17 tame but
exciting rides for children. The area
has its own new location, next to the Exhibition Hall. Among the new rides provided by Deggeller
Attractions were the Baja Buggie, Rockin' Tug, Monkey Maze and Happy Swing.
main midway was highlighted by the Mine Bender Roller Coaster.
Maryland State Fair, in its 123rd year, ran from Aug. 22 through
Steele County Free Fair (Owatonna, Minn.) concluded in August with an estimated
attendance of 339,671 visitors. Gold
Star Amusements once again provided the midway, with big crowds taking
advantage of the daily ride specials.
Fairgoers were treated to a wide variety of
great entertainment on three free stages, in the grandstand, and in the beer
garden. David Smith Jr., the Human
Cannonball, again thrilled thousands of spectators with two shots daily over
the Yo-Yo ride.
for the 2015 Steele County Free Fair are August 18-23.
In August, (Charles)
Leonard Martin celebrated his 80th birthday. A native Kansan, Leonard,
his preferred name, has resided for several decades in Corpus Christi, his
Martin is a
highly-respected arranger of large, independent midways. He owned/operated
20th Century Rides (1960-early 1980s) and, also since the early 1980s, has run
20th Century Independent Midways. His wife of virtually a half-century,
Irma, plus his children, were present for the celebration.
According to the Springfield,
Illinois-based newspaper, The State Journal-Register, NICA Member Pam's
Concessions was announced as the "winner of the People's Choice award in
the Golden Abes Fantastic Fair Food contest at the Illinois State
Fair." Their winning treat was
called "Mallow Madness, a campfire marshmallow dipped in funnel cake
batter, then deep-fried and topped with caramel and/or chocolate, pecans and
The IAAPA Attractions Expo will be held Nov. 17-21, at
County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla. Preregistration is encouraged and is available
online until Nov. 12. IAAPA Attractions Expo is the largest conference and
trade show for the $24 billion global attractions industry and is owned and
produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 highlights: More than 27,000 attractions industry
professionals are expected to participate; more than 1,000 exhibiting companies
will fill more than 500,000 net square feet on the trade show floor; more than
125 product categories, including rides, live entertainment, midway games,
redemption games, inflatable attractions, ticketing, souvenirs, food and
beverage, and more.■
Midway Talk From August 2014 Issue
have reported to Carnival Magazine that there is a probability that the 2015
Florida State Fair will no longer be an independent midway. Our sources have also indicated that Wade and
Reithoffer shows are leading contenders to be the carnival provider next year. No further details were available at press
time but a full report will be published in the September issue of Carnival
ride/game concessionaire Chris Cristiani was involved in a highway accident
near Houston, Texas, in late June. Reportedly, an errant 18-wheeler
forced Chris off the road. He and his wife sustained minor injuries but
their "Fool the Guesser" concession, which they premiered this season and was
featured in the July issue of Carnival, was damaged and is back at winter
quarters, undergoing repairs. Despite this mishap, C and C Concessions
(Chris's company name), in true show business form, opened at their next spot
and have not missed an opening! -- Dan J. Zapata, Carnival Magazine.
Melendez, 52, wife of City of Fun Carnival President Bradley Melendez Sr., died
on June 12, 2014, following a lengthy illness.
City of Fun Carnival is located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. The CEO is Lois Melendez and the show is run
on a daily basis by her daughter, Pam Zoeller, vice president.
reached at the Taylorsville (Utah) Dayzz, also reported that the show's Wisdom
Clatterpillar has been re-themed to "JaydeBug."
Zoeller said that she designed the new look and named it for her
youngest granddaughter. The work and
painting was done in house by longtime City of Fun Carnival ride foreman Frank
Melendez, who recently suffered a broken hip from a fall during extremely high
winds, has recovered and returned to work on June 26, according to Zoeller.
introduced five innovative, new attractions at the recent Asian Attractions
Expo in China. The event, occurring for the first time in Beijing, will help
fuel the country's rapidly growing amusement industry. "Dynamic Attractions has
built rides on nearly every continent except Antarctica," explains Peter
Schnabel, Dynamic Attractions President. "The exploding growth of the industry
in Asia makes the Asian Attractions Expo an irresistible location to launch our
full product line."
Dynamic's new attractions
are: Flying Theatre™ - A theatre that flips up, suspending riders in
air as they 'ride' a movie; Immersive Transporter - A full
sensory experience that is so powerful, riders feel they are traveling on an amazing
adventure; Trackless Ride Vehicle - A nimble, 4-12
passenger vehicle that zips forward, sideways, vibrates, and turns on a dime; Circumotion
Theatre™ - A massive round motion base theatre that lifts, tilts, drops
and rotates inside a full dome immersive environment; and SFX Coaster™
- A combination roller coaster and dark ride that creates thrills through
advanced track engineering and high-tech media.
"All our dynamic media based
attractions place the rider in the middle of a thrilling experience," adds
Schnabel. "It feels like magic to them." The illusion is made possible by the
synchronicity of new projection technologies, advanced sound and precision
International Association of Fairs and Expositions introduces Find That Fair, a
tool to find all IAFE member fairs. Go
to see a Google map of every fair. The
general public can view the map with limited information about each fair. IAFE members can filter the results by date,
attendance, state, and more. Just click
the long red button above the map and login. Associate members, do you
have a gap on your route you need filled? Use the powerful Find That Fair
map to make a connection.
is building for the Evergreen State Fair (Aug. 21-Sept. 1) as world renown
comedian Bill Cosby will be performing on the grandstand stage on Aug. 27. Cosby's appearance is a stop on his "... far
from finished tour," and tickets for his concert are $33 to $58 and includes
fair gate admission. The Evergreen State Fair is held in Monroe, Wash. Butler Amusements will provide the midway for
the event and will offer an unlimited ride wristband for $25 (weekdays) and $30
(Saturday or Sunday).
Kvern, 77, died Oct. 8, 2013, in Fergus Falls, Minn. Kvern worked for "Mugs" Townsend concessions
during the 1960s. He had two hot dog
trailers and an ice cream concession with Al Merriam's Midway Shows. Kvern also worked with Murphy Bros. Shows and
by the 1970s, owned a truck stop in Fergus Falls. Kvern returned to the road in the 1980s,
running a souvenir and novelty trailer and sometimes as a unit manager for
Merriam's. He and Todd Merriam also
booked in five rides with Royal American Shows at the Kansas and Louisiana
state fairs, and with Link Shows at the Oklahoma State Fair.