Midway Talk from July issue
Family Amusements Inc. (Beardstown, Ill.) is yet another family carnival
company, owned and operated by John and June Conner for some 50 years. June reports that their grandson, Kyle
Campbell, has officially joined the show with some games and a play port. Kyle's mother, Jennifer, is the concessions
manager. Jennifer has two other young
sons, Cameron and Conner, who work on the show, and a daughter, Chloe. According to June, eight-year-old granddaughter
Chloe "delivers food and drinks to the boys who work for us ... and test rides
everything!" John and June's son, Joe,
used to work for the show, but is now an engineer with the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe railroad. Conner Family
Amusements, complete with 12 rides, five games and a food trailer, play small
town celebrations, county fairs and company picnics. "We are usually within 30 or 40 miles from
home and drive back and forth, so that makes it nice," said June. "We're happy with our business and love our
Giles, 72, of Fisk, Mo., passed away on May 18 at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical
Center. Giles and his wife, Evelyn, have
owned and operated Bluff City Shows for 51 years. Giles was just featured as Carnival Magazine's Midway Personality in
the June 2014 issue. Giles started Bluff
City Shows in 1963 and was a true family man.
He said during the recent issue: "Really and truly, the best part of
this business in that you can keep your family close ... you do a little
traveling, but your family is with you."
Giles' son, Dugan, was handling the day-to-day operations of Bluff City
Shows, which had downsized to one unit in 2013.
In addition to Evelyn and Dugan, Delmar Giles is survived by another
son, Morris, and a daughter, Debbie.
There are also 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Three granddaughters – Rosanna, Joanna,
Susie, and their husbands, operate the show's concessions.
Jamie Christman have made a contribution of $1,000 for a bench in the new
memorial being built in honor of all military veterans in Conto Falls,
Wisc. Christman spends a month in
Gibsonton, Fla., each winter, doing wiring for the IISF Trade Show. "During that month there, Jim wired and rewired building new boxes for what should be known as Christmans Park, donating all of the materials," said Chuck Mayo, past IISA President. Jim has also made many contributions to the
Museum of the Carnival, both in work and materials, for outside lighting and
the library tables and shelving.
Exposition (Augusta, Ga.) has purchased a Swing Tower from A.R.M. Inc. According to James Graybeal of Drew, the new
equipment should arrive in approximately one month. "It's the taller one, but still a one-trailer
ride," said Graybeal. "It's a piece that
you can tear down and move pretty easily.
It will be good to get it because we've lost a little bit of our height
over the last couple of years." Drew has
also added two new Gullwing generators.
Each has two engines and are computerized to increase and decrease power
Amusements Inc. (Imperial, Mo.) is gearing up for a Fourth of July date in
Centralia, Illinois, by playing "picnics and festivals" around the St. Louis
area, according to company spokesperson Theresa Noerper. "We're getting some nice crowds out and
they're spending some money ... the weather hasn't been too bad in St.
Louis." Archway is operated by six
brothers and sisters, including Noerper, and usually travels with 15 rides this
time of year.
Shows (Franklinton, N.C.) is changing the lights on its Merry Mixer before
bringing it out this season. The Merry
Mixer has been in the Inners stable for a long time. "For an old piece, the Merry Mixer is a good
ride," said Ed Inners. "Next year, we're
probably going to make some changes with the equipment. It's time for us to buy another big piece,
possibly a Sizzler, but I'm not sure yet which way we'll go."
Oklahoma State Fair (Sept. 11-21) has announced its free concert lineup: Two of the most popular area acts of the 1970s
and 1980s, Kansas and Grand Funk Railroad, will be performing at the Chickasaw
Entertainment Stage. Grand Funk Railroad
will also be performing at the Maryland State Fair in August.
Sarah Winter has recently published a book, The
Secret History of Carnival Talk, which explores the special language which
developed in carnivals at the turn of the 20th century. Winter's grandparents taught her the language
when she was teenager. The grandparents
had traveled with the Beckmann & Gerety show in 1937 and the book features
30 original photographs of that carnival, taken by her grandfather. Part memoir, part cultural history, part
linguistic exploration, The Secret
History of Carnival Talk traces the evolution of this manner of speech from
its origins on the midway to its use in other parts of popular culture. Says Winter: "Step behind the scenes and find
out what the rubes don't know." The book
can be purchased at Amazon.com, or local bookstores.
from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA),
Visit Orlando, and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) announced on May
27, a six-year extension of their
agreement to host IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando through 2025. Approximately 28,800 people from more than
100 nations participated in IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013. The weeklong event is the largest conference
and trade show for the worldwide attractions industry and it generates
approximately $51.3 million for the Orlando-area economy. IAAPA officials also announced that
registration for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014, which takes place in the Orange
County Convention Center Nov. 17-21, is now open. The new contract represents an extension of
IAAPA's previous agreement to host the Expo in Orlando from 2010 through
2019. "IAAPA Attractions Expo continues
to grow year after year and that's a testament to the power of Orlando as the
ideal location for our global conference and trade show," said IAAPA President
and CEO Paul Noland. "The Orange County
Convention Center is a best-in-class venue that's well-suited for our event and
our members love coming to Orlando to see what's new in the industry and in the
area's world-renowned attractions."
Coppage, 30, a member of Reithoffer Shows' orange unit, died on May 10, from
injuries sustained in a traffic accident.
The incident occurred in Hyattsville, Md. According to Reithoffer's Facebook page,
"Bruce will be remembered for his kind, gentle soul. He would do anything that
was ever asked of him. He will truly be missed and remembered always by
Reithoffer Shows family and staff!"
Carter, of Alta, Iowa, passed away on Jan. 16, 2014. Carter, 75, was a veteran of the Midwest
carnival circuit. An electrician by
trade, Carter later owned games and traveled with Baumann Shows, Merriam's
Midway Shows, McDermott Shows and Gold Star Amusements. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, six
children, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Heeren, of Liberal, Kan., passed away on Feb. 20, 2014. Lois, along with her husband, Hubert, owned a
Roll-o-Plane and a Heart Flip as independent operators with Skerback Brothers
Shows. Lois and Hubert, who survives, were
also with Merriam's Midway Shows, Midway of Fun (Ray Dresser) and Evan's United
Shows. Lois, who was 75 at the time of
her death, worked in the carnival industry for 29 years.