Midway Talk – October 29, 2009
The 2009 fair season has been “challenging” according to Frank Zaitshik, owner of Wade Shows. “We avoided bad weather until the past six weeks,” said Frank. “Revenue has sometimes been up and sometimes down.” Frank purchased a Fighter from Flight to Mars, an office trailer from Cole Shows and has ordered a Sizzler from Wisdom. Frank loves his Wisdom Drag Strip Giant Slide saying that it has been “fantastic, and among his three highest revenue producers.”
The Mississippi State Fair took the unusual step of extending the fair by one day due to bad weather. Rain came down in buckets for the first nine days reported fair director Billy Orr resulting in reduced attendance of at least 100,000. The extra day will be on Monday when parking, admission, rides and all corn dogs will be $2 each.
At the Wisconsin State Fair there was a decrease in attendance of 4% according to Patrice Harris, Director of Public Relations. Total attendance came in at 833,285, a surprising number considering that rain came on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday and off and on during the remaining days of the fair. Due to the economy, the fair reduced admission prices to attract budget-minded patrons.
Powers Great American Midways provided 110 rides for the N.C. State Fair midway for the Sept 13 through Sept 25 run. Advance ticket sales were running ahead of last year according to PGAM Public Relations Director Charlie Belknap. Powers is refurbishing his Wave Swinger and Giant Wheel by installing LED lighting. The LED lighting package was purchased through Rides 4-U.
Brad Melendez, owner of City of Fun Carnival purchased a new “Fire Ball” from Larsen International and showed it for the first time at the Sierra Vista, Arizona fall celebration near Ft. Huachuca, the sprawling military base. Next for the City of Fun Carnival schedule was the Navajo Nation Fall Fair where they provided 20 rides. According to Pam Zoeller, General Manager of City of Fun Carnival, 2009 has been a very successful season with good weather and increased attendance almost every week. They have added a new fair, LaPaz County Fair in Parker, Arizona for the 2010 season. The Lou Melendez family owned carnival is celebrating their 50th year in the business.
The OABA Just Dance Competition on December 1 at the IAFE Convention to support the OABA Duke Smith Memorial Education Fund will feature such well known contestants as Chris Atkins, of Thomas Carnival and Cathy Deggeller of Deggeller Attractions and Eddie Porcelli III and Melody Hodson. Eddie owns Spaghetti Eddie’s and Melody owns Hodson Concessions with her husband Jim Hodson. Amber Swedgan and Mike Williams of N.AM.E will make up the another team. James Stringer of Ray Cammack Shows and Bianca Cano from Hawaii will compose yet another team.
The State Fair of Texas suffered through fourteen days of rain at the September 28 through October 18 event. As a result, attendance was down by ten percent, a remarkable result considering the weather circumstances. “It was some of the worst weather in the history of the fair,” reported Errol McKoy, President of the Fair. Revenue was down by around $3 million according to the Dallas News.
Attendance at the Georgia National Fair was up by around 11,000 at the October 8 through 18 event. The Reithoffer Blue Unit provided the midway.