Midway Talk – August 6, 2009
Chris Hurley, Office Manager of McDonagh’s Amusements told Carnival that McDonagh’s has purchased a Zamperla Z-Force from Mighty Bluegrass Shows, that is themed as Big Ben. It was set up for the first time in Fraser, Michigan and was then transported on four trailers to the Minnesota State Fair. Chris says it will be repainted and refurbished.
The new federal minimum wage of $7.25 went into effect on July 31, 2009.
Charlie Belknap, Director of Marketing/Public Relations for Powers Great American Midways, reported to Carnival that the show has taken delivery of a new Zamperla Kite Flyer Family Ride and that Eddie Powers has purchased a new 26-foot Hitch-Hiker pizza trailer. Both have LED lighting. Charlie says that the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair in Cobleskill, New York experienced rain on July 31 and August 2 but that Saturday, August 1 was a great day. Advanced ride ticket sales were up compared to last year.
The Capital Ex in Edmonton, Alberta saw an increase of one percent in attendance over last year’s figures in spite of inclement weather during the opening weekend. The fair, with North American Midway Entertainment as the midway provider, enjoyed good weather for the remainder of the July 16-25 run.
N.A.M.E. also experienced a good run at the July 3-12 Calgary Stampede in Alberta even though attendance was down from 2008, which was a record year.
Attendance at the Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa, New York was estimated at 75,000 by the retiring manager, Dick Rowland. Attendance at the 2008 fair was 65,000.
The Marin County Fair, just north of San Francisco, boasted that 40% of the electricity used at the fair was produced by solar power and wind turbines. A carousel with LED lighting was powered with enough solar energy to run it well into the night and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s sound stage, with LED lighting, entertained fairgoers with a 6kw solar array.
Ross Owen of Owen’s Trailers, Inc., of Riverside, CA told Carnival that Jim Dillman of Belle City Amusements of Winter Springs, FL, Tony Lowery of Lowery Carnival Company of Gulf Shores, AL and Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, NH have all taken delivery of Mardi Gras Glass Houses. Danny England, independent ride operator, has taken delivery of a Super Dark Ride that will make its debut at the Minnesota State Fair.
The N.C. State Fair is asking fairgoers to wash their hands to help protect pigs from human-borne illnesses such as the H1N1 flu. Anyone exhibiting any flu-like symptoms is asked to avoid the fair. Veterinary officials have also recommended that fair managers add a 6-foot barrier around any swine exhibits to further separate humans from the animals and that the swine be vaccinated with any available swine flu vaccines.