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.
Midway Talk from June issue
Jeffery D. Pugh, 60, of Lancaster, Ohio, died on April 10,
at Fairfield Medical Center, in Ohio. He
was in the outdoor amusement business his entire life and will be missed for
his enthusiasm and joy for good food, his love and soft heart for animals, his
skillful hands and his love of life, his hard work ethic and love of his
family. Pugh was an inspiration to those who saw him fight with courage and not
a complaint against a terrible disease. He is survived by his wife of 39 years,
Beverly; children Jeffery, Matthew (Tracy) Alissa Clark (Mark); and
grandchildren, Marissa and Christopher, Kolson, Kylan, Addicyn Cox-Pugh; his
brothers and sisters Robert Pugh (Debby), Deborah Woodman (Pietro), Tom Pugh
(Debbie), Diane Huston (Danny), nieces, nephews and special sister-in-law, Judy
Bresler. The funeral was held on April
14 at Victory Hill Church, Carroll, Ohio. Memorials may be made to Victory Hill
Church, in Jeff's memory.
Amusements of America (Monroe Township, NJ) purchased a new
ride during the winter, a Technical Park Street Fighter. According to Dominic Vivona, the company also
obtained four refurbished Bates bunk houses.
Amusements of America opened the season in Charleston, SC, with a three-day
event in early April.
A Fantasy Amusement Company (Prospect Heights, Ill.) kicked
off its 2014 tour in Bourbonnais, Ill., at Northfield Square Mall.
Patrick Crabtree reports that the weather has been a big
issue since Crabtree Amusements Inc. (Staples, Tex.) began its 2014 season in
January. "The weather so far has just
been a killer for us ... seems like the weather pattern every weekend just keeps
knocking us out," said Crabtree, who was contacted in mid-April at the
Montgomery County Fair. Prior to that,
Crabtree Amusements was at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin (March
Brown's Amusements (Mesa, Ariz.) began its 2014 tour at a
rodeo in Sells, Ariz., during the first week of February. Brown's two units were together for a few weeks
in the spring but separate for the summer months. According to owner Danny Brown, the units
were together at Casa Grande, Yuma and Logandale, Nev. Danny and his wife, Sherry, founded Brown's
Amusements in 1995 and now have 38 rides in their show. "We have a good little niche in what we do,
playing the smaller and mid-size fairs," said Brown, when reached in Kingman,
Ariz. (Home and Garden Show), in mid-April.
The units are overseen by Pete Peterson and Phil Parrenti. Prior to owning Brown's Amusements, Danny was
an independent food and game operator on the west coast for 16 years. The Browns' daughter, Chelsea, who earned a
master's degree in communications at Arizona State University, works for a
public relations firm in Phoenix.
Peter Joseph of Jolly Shows (Annapolis, Md.) echoed the
weather woes thus far in 2014. "We
always open up in March and normally, you get a pretty good break in the
weather but not this year," said Joseph.
"People are coming out and spending money when the weather is good ...
with such a bad winter, people want to get out.
It doesn't have to be perfect weather for people but if it is just dry,
they'll come out and have fun."
Joseph reported that Jolly Shows was very busy in the
offseason, purchasing a used Wiggle Worm from Kevin Wilson for starters. Other winter projects included a new theme
and LED package for its Childress Super Slide – now renamed Surfin' Slide.
Jolly Shows also put LED lights from Denny's Electronics on a refurbished Fabre
Gondola Wheel and a little Eli Ferris Wheel.
Also, the show's ticket and coupon boxes were re-done with LED lights
and vinyl wraps during the winter. Jolly Shows, founded in 19xx by Frank Joseph
(Peter's grandfather), has 25 rides, five concession trailers and 15
games. Peter and his brother, Paul, are
third generation operators, following in the footsteps of grandfather Frank and
their father, Robert Joseph.
Michael's Amusements Inc. (Fayetteville, N.C.) opened its
2014 season in Miami in January will continue through November, according to
owner Michael Reisinger. During the past
winter, Michael's completely refurbished its Sea Ray and Musik Express, both
from the ground up. Reisinger decided to
not use LED lights on the projects. "The
Majestic Musik Express has thousands of lights and it's really pretty,"
explained Reisinger. "We started
changing it over and I really didn't like the look of it. Some things look better with the classic
lights." Reisinger added that the Sea Ray's pirate ship was taken down to the
frame and all new art work was done.
Reisinger and partner Joe Frankowski bought a Freak Out from Playworld
Amusements last fall and the ride will be "shuttled" between Michael's and
D&J Amusements. When reached in
mid-April, Reisinger said that his show was gearing up for the Dogwood Festival
Sherwood Amusements (Upper Falls, Md.) opened the season at
a church festival in Aberdeen, Md. (April 11-13) before going to Smyrna, Del.,
for Easter Weekend. Roger Wadkins Sr.,
who owns both Sherwood and Wadkins Expo Wheel (manufacturing), said that the
companies had a busy winter. Wadkins
sold three wheels at the Gibtown Trade Show, the first one "going out to
Stewart Amusements Company (Trumbull, Conn.) real soon." Wadkins added that refurbishment work was done
on their own Childress Super Slide and their combo and motorcycles kiddie
rides. Sherwood's Easter date was for
the Smyrna Fourth of July Committee, as the show plays there in the summer as
well. "It's beautiful here," said
Wadkins on April 19th. "We're
finally catching a break with the weather and looks like we'll have a great
More than 5,000 attractions industry professionals from more
than 60 countries will attend Asian Attractions Expo 2014, in Beijing,
China. The event, owned and produced by
the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), will
take place June 17-20 at the China National Convention Center in Beijing.
Fiesta Shows (Seabrook, N.H.) had a busy winter, according
to owner Eugene Dean. Fiesta Shows,
which has warehouses in New Hampshire and Gibsonton, Fla., refurbished a
Tornado, a Ferris Wheel, two slides and a Round-Up. Dean reported that his company also
refurbished two Pharaoh's Fury rides.
Also, a May 15 arrival date was expected for two new purchases, a Wisdom
Avalanch (with a Seven Seas theme) and a reconditioned Fireball from
Larson. And by August, Fiesta is
expecting a trailer-mounted SBF Spinning Coaster, purchased from Rides 4U. Fiesta Shows, which operates with 25 rides,
began 2014 in western Massachusetts.
"It's been cold, but we've been doing our normal business," said Dean.
Several new rides and games were on the bill when Penn Wood
Shows (Gettysburg, Pa.) opened its season in late April. Kitty Long of Penn Wood Shows reported that a
Wacky Worm and a Sky Race, both purchased at the Gibtown Trade Show, are up and
running. "We all rode the two rides and
it was a blast," exclaimed Kitty. Penn
Wood, which travels with 33 rides, has also added two new games – both clam
trailers, Long Range Basketball and Strike Zone. Kitty added that the Strike Zone would be
re-themed as a Break-a-Bottle game. Penn
Wood Shows, operated by Heidi, Derek and Kitty Long, began the 2014 season in
Hanover, Pa., at the High Ridge 4-A Club benefit event.
Powers Great American Midways (Corfu, N.Y.) worked on
several projects during the offseason, including work on its Stampede. Some
representatives from Wisdom paid a visit and assisted Powers on redesigning the
steps on the Stampede. Powers also
worked scenery and lighting as well as a new canvas for the Swing Buggy. R.D. Thomas of Powers also said that the
Swing Buggy's seats were converted from cushions to molded fiberglass. Thomas added that the company's Wacky Worm
was re-racked and received new paint.
All the work was done at Powers' winterquarters in Whiteville, N.C.
Reithoffer Shows (Gibsonton, Fla.) purchased a Wacky Worm
and a Clyde Mulligan Wheel from the now defunct Myers International Midways. Reithoffer also bought a Zamperla Air Race at
the IAAPA show in Orlando. The company
also rebuilt its Tilt-a-Whirl and Tidal Wave and refurbished its Grand
Midway Talk from the March Issue
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo opened on January 17 and ran through February 8 with midway provided by Talley Amusements of Fort Worth, Texas. While cold weather affected the event during the weekdays, weekends had been beautiful weather when Carnival Magazine spoke with Mary Talley two weeks into the event. Weekday temperatures were so cold on certain weekdays that the midway could not open. High traffic weekend days, however, had been well-attended and the event was going well. Talley Amusements was happy with 2013 purchases, an SBF Groovy Bus and Chance Zumur. The Zumur was completely reconditioned by the show and Chance; it was also given a new light package from Denny’s Electronics.
Dana Peck, owner of Midway Rides of Utica, reports that the show is refurbishing their High-Five Eli Wheel. The project will be completed in time for the 2014 season. Fair meetings in New York and Pennsylvania went well for the show. Already added for the 2014 season is the Crawford County Fair in Meadville, PA. The event is typically held in mid-August. Dana also reports that 2013 was a good year for the show. They were happy with the addition of a 90-foot, Wisdom Grand Wheel to their midway. Midway Rides of Utica is currently looking at options for new equipment.
The San Joaquin County Fair has canceled their 2014 edition in large part due to loss of state funding. The fairgrounds are located in Stockton, California. The fair was established in 1860 and the 2014 edition was scheduled for June. Gearing up for the future after this year, organizers have hired a new director. Kelly Olds, a native of the area and veteran food industry executive, has already begun his new role at the San Joaquin Fair. Along with other organizers, Kelly is gearing up for a return of the fair in 2015.
Powers Great American Midways is in the process of adding new equipment for the 2014 season. The show may be acquiring a new Cliff Hanger as well as negotiating for two new spectacular pieces.
Manager of the Coastal Carolina Fair in the Charleston, SC region, Jerry Pitts, reports that January’s Georgia/South Carolina Fairs Conference went very well. A total of 34 fairs from both states were represented. The event’s trade show was booked to capacity and 11 carnivals showcased their business. Programs, speakers, and workshops were well planned, notes Jerry.
The Iowa State Fair will continue to accept cash for food concessions and their permanent Giant Slide at their 2014 edition. As reported in last month’s issue of Carnival Magazine, the fair had announced a plan to go cashless for food and the slide beginning this year, using a ticket/coupon system instead. The decision was met with objections from some vendors and members of the public who took to social media. Responding to the criticism, the Iowa State Fair decided to shelve the coupon system, but may return to a cashless plan in the future.
Congratulations to David J. Garretson who was recently appointed Vice President of International Sales at Gold Medal Products Co. David began working at Gold Medal Products in 1990. Garretson has contributed greatly to international sales with Gold Medal over the years. According to the company, he has flown more than 1,300,000 miles around the world representing them since his first international trip to the UK in 1992.
A brand new observation wheel built by Chance Rides will premiere at Washington D.C. area entertainment complex, National Harbor. The $15 million attraction will measure in at 175-feet tall. National Harbor is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, not far from the hub of D.C. Views atop the wheel will include the National Mall and Andrews Air Force Base. CWA Construction of Switzerland is providing the 42 gondolas while Chance is producing all other major components. The wheel will include a $1 million LED light package. Chance has begun trucking components of the wheel to Maryland and construction is underway.
Ray Pilszak, a veteran of Amusement Business magazine passed away on Saturday, January 18. He was known by many from all sectors of the outdoor amusement industry and spent many years at AB as a sales executive. Ray, a native of Chicago, was 82. He is survived by his wife, Georgia, and a daughter, Kirsa.
Clarence Kasin, Jr. of Kasin Concessions passed away on Wednesday, January 22. He was born into the business on December 28, 1951 in Chicago, IL—son of Clarence Sr. and Mary Kasin. Along with his family, including brothers Peter and Paul, Clarence booked games with a number of carnivals over the decades. He was affectionately known as Coachie and he was at home managing his duck pond on the midway. Memorials may be made to the Showman’s League of America Scholarship c/o Peter Kasin. For more information please contact (847)223-8122.
Midway Talk from May Issue
Thomas Carnival, based in Austin, Texas, is refurbishing its Thunderbolt, with new paint and overall maintenance. Thomas’ John Hanschen reported this information when reached at a Texas festival in March. Thomas had already opened the season in Brownsville (Winterfest) and Laredo (George Washington Birthday Celebration), but Hanschen was still excited to speak about the newest tour stop last August in Idaho. “The Twin Falls County Fair is one week before we play the Utah State Fair, so it worked out very well for us. We were very happy with it and the people were very nice.” Hanschen added that Thomas’ 11-state route in 2014 is identical to last year. Thomas’ newest rides are a Wisdom Monster Trucks and an S & S Frog Hopper.
Blue Sky Amusements and Entertainment (Islandia, NY) is busy preparing for its 40-date 2014 season, which opened Easter weekend in Kearney, N.J. Blue Sky's Bill Reiss said that the show's RipTide is being completely refurbished. "We've got it down to the chassis right now, re-doing the bearings, valves, some steel work and on up." Reiss added that LEDs had already been added to their RipTide, Zipper, Gondola Wheel and Merry-Go-Round. New for Blue Sky's 2014 tour is another kiddie ride -- Motorcycle Jump. A Quad Runner had been added last year as Reiss says, "We needed to upgrade our umbrella rides a little." Reiss runs the business with his wife, Susan, and children, Michael, Katie and Billy.
A Goldstar Puppy Roll and Wisdom Monster Trucks are new rides this year for Rainbow Valley Rides (Custer, Wis.), but co-owner Chip Kedrowicz is already looking toward making an even larger impact in 2015. Kedrowicz says that a KMG Freak Out, bought 10 years ago, has paid dividends and Rainbow Valley hopes to duplicate that success. "We're looking for that next big thing -- like a 'Freak Out,' something with 'wow' factor and heavy return ridership."
Rainbow Valley began its 25-ride, 20-week tour on May 1, at Regency Mall in Racine, Wisc. The show has added one new stop, a church festival near Milwaukee in June.
Brady’s Amusements (Valdosta, Ga.) featured two new rides when the show opened in Princeton, Ind., on April 5. Owner Martin Brady also reported that his company has purchased a Dizzy Dragon and Eli High Five for the 2014 tour. Brady’s Amusements has also added two new dates to its season – a spring festival in Denton, Ill., and a June fair in Kentucky. Brady, in business with his wife, Elizabeth, look forward to their eighth full season, a 30-event, 25-ride tour. Brady also acknowledged the work of sister-in-law Yvette Marconi, who heads game operations and logistics for the company.
Rosedale Attractions & Shows (Baltimore, Md.) had a very active off-season, according to owner Thomas Gaylin III. At the IISF Trade Show in Florida, Gaylin was busy, “dropping $100,000 on aesthetics. We bought new uniforms for the staff (50 full-time, 75-part-time), flags, entrance/exit signs, vinyl wraps for the Skeeball trailer and ticket boxes, 10,000 LED bulbs and 250 LED light bars,” said Gaylin. More big news was the fact that Rosedale bought four new rides – a Battech Cliff Hanger, a Goldstar Puppy Roll and two inflatables from Wapello. Gaylin added that refurbishments were made to a Chance Trabant, an Owen Mardi Gras Glass House and a Rock-n-Roll and the LED purchase and work was “the final step in a five-year process.” Rosedale, a 32-ride show, opened the second week of April, right at home at the Baltimore County Colgate Park Festival. Gaylin said that Rosedale has added a new date for 2014, the Chesterfield County Fair, near Richmond, Va., beginning Aug. 22.
T.J. Schmidt & Company (Standish, Mich.) has added four new rides for its 2014 tour – a Cliffhanger, a Zipper, an Eagle 16 Ferris Wheel and a Mulligan Swing. Business manager Doug Burtch also reported that T.J. Schmidt refurbished its Eli Scrambler and Sellner Wind Jammer during the winter. Burtch added that the show also purchased two 28-foot refrigerated trailers for concessions operations and a 500-kw generator from Showman Supply. T.J. Schmidt, a 25-ride carnival, was scheduled to open on April 11 in Grand Rapids. The company has added two new dates for 2014 – the Western Michigan Fair in Ludington and the 76th Annual Pickeral Festival on July 4, in Algonac, Mich.
Frazier Shows (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added a brand new KMG Freak Out ($875,000) late in the 2013 campaign, so the ride will still be a new attraction to the first half of the 2014 tour. Frazier owner Steve Broetsky also is pleased with the show’s KMG Experience, one of two in the United States (the other belongs to Ray Cammack Shows). Broetsky also reported that Frazier has been gradually converting its 30 trucks over to Peterbilt brand. Frazier began its long, 44-week season on Feb. 15-March 1 at the Casa Grande Cowboy and Indian Rodeo. Broetsky added that he missed the IISF Trade Show for the first time in 35 years but for a very good reason: Daughter Ashley Frazier Scales gave birth to Steve and Julie Broetsky’s fifth grandson, Jaxson, on Feb. 16. In fact, another daughter, Andrea Frazier Tobias, was due to deliver the family’s first granddaughter on April 22. Still another family note: Steve and Julie, who met while working on the Dell and Travers Carnival, celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on March 24. The couple’s son, Stephen Thomas, is the show’s general manager and another son, Bryan, may also return to Frazier after college at Arizona State. “We have been truly blessed as a family and with this business,” said Broetsky. “I was just a kid from New York City who had never seen a carnival until I worked in one.” Broetsky was concession manager for Deggeller Attractions before purchasing Frazier Shows in 2002.
Bates Bros. Amusement Company (Wintersville, Ohio) has purchased six new Otterbacher bunk houses, 45-foot units that sleep 21 people in each, according to owner Eric Bates. In a very busy winter, Bates said that the company also has added new Frenzy and Frog Hopper rides, along with refurbishing its Ring of Fire and Rock-O-Plane. Bates was excited to report that all of the changes were in time for the I-X Indoor Amusement Park in Cleveland (March 21-April 20), which his show has played for 25 years. Bates’ 50-ride show plays 45 locations, covering 1,800 miles, with a staff of 140 during peak times. Bates Bros has added three new stops for 2014: The Eden (N.Y.) Corn Festival, the McKean County Fair in Smethport, Pa., and the North East Festival in North East, Pa. “All of the new locations will work well to streamline our regular route,” said Bates.
Family Fun Shows (Mankato, Minn.), did some “old fashioned horse trading” during the winter, according to owner Greg Hughes. The show purchased a Tornado and popcorn and cotton candy wagon from Myers International and sold its Chance Trabant to a park in Panama City, Fla. Family Fun Shows, incorporated in 1996, also bought a used Fun House. The company, operated by Greg and his wife, Gail, begins its 20-week run in May, with 18-20 rides. Three of the couple’s children, Bob, Jason, and Angela are also involved with the business. Another son, Justin, is studying meteorology at St. Cloud State University.
Kevin Tate of Capitol City Amusements reports a very busy off season for his Sacramento, Calif.-based business. Among the purchases was a new Tractor Ride from Dalton Kid Rides in Gibtown. Capitol City also bought a Chance Carousel (3 abreast), a Super Slide (its second one) and a funnel cake/ice cream concession stand, in addition to two new tractor trailers. Kevin, who owns Capitol City with his wife, Jane, also said that LEDs from Denny’s Electronics were added to a vintage Miller Roller Coaster, a Century Wheel, a Zipper, a fun house and a one-of-a-kind Wisdom Himalaya, which was since renamed Typhoon. “We’re really pleased with the LED work from Denny’s,” said Kevin, who added that the Spring dates so far have been “pretty spectacular.” Capitol City had rain-outs in both Sacramento and Stockton, but the rescheduled weeks went better than expected. Assisting the Tates with the carnival are their children, Micheal, assistant manager, and Nicole, candy wagon manager. Two other children are serving their country in the military – Sharon (U.S. Navy) and Frank (U.S. Marine Corps). The Tates are expecting two new grandchildren in May and June, “just in time for fair season,” chuckled Kevin.
Dennis and Joanne Lynch of D.C. Lynch Shows (Chapman, Neb.) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 21. A day later, the couple enjoyed an anniversary party given by their sons, Dennis Jr. and Mike, and their five grandchildren. The couple, after running their carnival for 39 years, recently sold the business to son Mike. According to Dennis Sr., he has not retired. “I’ll still be doing the same thing, just not getting paid,” he quipped. Dennis Sr.’s stepfather, Roy Harvey, started the business in 1957 and ran it for 17 years. Dennis Sr. reported that the show sold its Skymaster during the offseason and “rebuilt our Tilt-a-Whirl from scratch, as our shop is open all winter.” Lynch Shows opens its 31-date tour on May 2 in Grand Island, Neb.
A&A Attractions (Fairbury, Ill.) changed its name during the offseason, from Big H Amusements, which it had been since 1998, according to owner Sue Headley. The 25-ride A&A Attractions carnival is owned and operated by Sue and husband, Kevin Headley. Sue reported that A&A is in the process of refurbishing a popcorn wagon from the chassis up and also recently added a Hampton Combo kiddie ride. A&A will keep its route, which begins in early May, the same as in 2013. ■
Midway Talk from the April Issue
Berkley Square, a division of Berk Enterprises has formed a new alliance with Vegware Ltd., a global brand of award-winning eco disposables made from renewable or recycled materials. “Recognizing the need for greener packaging, Berk Enterprises launched their own Environ line of cutlery and table year many years ago, but with the growth in demand for green products, Berk realized it was time to launch an entire line of earth friendly products that were not only biodegradable, but also compostable, and therefor suitable for inclusion in food waste recycling,” said the company in a press release. “With so many states mandating composting and banning foam containers, we expect a 40-50% increase in the number of brokers and distributors who carry compostable packaging. And with Vegware, Berk is in the strongest possible position to provide sustainable compostable alternatives,” said Robert Berk, President of Berk Enterprises.
Speaking with Carnival Magazine in February, Joyce Brady of Playworld Amusements states that she and husband, Jeff, look forward to continuing on in the amusement business as independent ride operators. The carnival began the transition to their new role during 2013, selling some equipment and working with their fairs to bring in new providers. Playworld will maintain about 24 rides for certain fairs, such as the state fairs of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Texas, as well as for corporate events. “We are very appreciative of the industry, but enjoy the new, relaxed pace,” says Joyce.
Butler Amusement’s new KMG Freak Out premiered at this year’s Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival in Indio, California. This year’s event ran from February 14 through 23 and marked the 68th edition of the fair. In total, Butler Amusements provided 53 rides. The Freak Out originally set to be exhibited at the IISF Trade Show instead went directly to Indio because of extreme weather conditions across the U.S. Weather in Indio was picture perfect during the event, contributing to a total attendance figure of 294,864—up from last year’s 282,335.
Congratulations to Elizabeth (Betty) Siefker of Showmen Supplies who is retiring from the company after nearly 50 years. She and her husband, Gene Siefker, founded Showmen Supplies in 1966. During her time at the family-owned corporation, Betty served as Executive Administrator. “It was Mrs. Siefker’s creativity and foresight that led to painting the Showmen Supplies trucks bright red, long before anyone saw red on the highways,” says the company. Today, Showmen Supplies is operated by her sons, Mark and Scott. A luncheon celebrating Betty’s career was held in La Porte, Indiana earlier this year.
Also from OABA, the organization has welcomed two new members to their Hall of Fame. Guy Leavitt, owner of Ray Cammack Shows and the late Earl Butch Butler of Butler Amusements were inducted into the Hall of Fame this past February. The organization also recently installed their 2014, Chris Lopez of Ray Cammack Shows.
In preparation for the 2014 season, Luehr’s Ideal Rides based in Belleville, Illinois has updated their Pharaoh’s Fury with a LED light package. The show has also added a new, Schantz Mfg. concession trailer offering ice cream.
Powers Great American Midways is adding a KMG Inversion to their lineup in 2014. The show has also purchased an AP Spin Zone bumper cars unit.
For a third consecutive year, the Fort Worth Stock Show saw attendance top the one million mark. Total attendance at this year’s show reached 1,137,100. The event ran from January 17 through February 8 with Talley Amusements providing the midway. The 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show will run from January 16 through February 7.
Wade Shows welcomed a new attendance record of 1,740,154 at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. This year’s number surpassed the previous attendance record of 1,665,747, which was set in 2013. The event ran from February 6 through February 23.
Modern Midways has purchased two new rides for the 2014 season. A Motorcycle Jump was acquired from Dalton Kid Rides as well as an A.R.M. Rock Star.
Several units of North American Midway Entertainment will once again kicked-off their season at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo in March. The event runs from March 13 through 30 in Miami, Florida.