Midway Talk – October 20, 2009
The government of Canada is giving $3.75 million over two years to support the Canadian National Exhibition, the 4th largest fair in North America as part of the government’s promotion of tourism in Canada. The exhibition is Canada’s largest fair and brings in over $50 million Canadian dollars annually.
North American Midway Entertainment set a new ride revenue record at the Kansas State Fair for the September 11 through 20 event. The top five rides were the White Water Flume, Space Roller, Freak Out, Giant Wheel and Himalaya.
The IALEI, the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry is being dissolved and will be merging with the IAAPA.
Sonja Skerbeck of Skerbeck Brothers Shows of Escanaba, MI reports that the Allegan County Fair experienced a record year for the midway gross. The event ran from Sept 11 – 19, over two weekends. Perfect weather was experienced at the fair for the duration of the run, which was a welcome departure from an otherwise chilly and rainy August in Michigan. POP bracelets were available every day for $20 and a Mega Pass was available for unlimited rides for the entire fair.
Frank Zaitshik owner of Wade Shows reported that the Oklahoma State Fair was a great success and the best year ever for Wade Shows at that fair, in spite of rain over the first few days. The midway gross and the food gross were both up as compared to last year. Frank is looking forward to the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh where he books on with Powers Great American Midways.
The Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa reported a record attendance of 326,781 for the Sept 12 – 20 run, where the weather was perfect for the whole nine days. Merriam’s Midway Shows provided the midway.
The Orange County Fairgrounds was placed on the auction block this past Thursday in an attempt to cut into the California state deficit. The state department of General Services issued a request for proposals for the 150-acre property in Costa Mesa, giving bidders until Jan 8 to make offers. Governor Schwarzenegger proposed selling three fair grounds, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and San Quentin State Prison. The governor’s office has estimated that the Costa Mesa site could sell for $96 million to $180 million.
Raul Hoffman of Strates Shows told Carnival that this year’s fair season has been good, especially at the big fairs, in spite of lots of rain. Strates provided 63 rides at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, NC, after which the train will travel to Augusta, GA and then on to Albany, GA. Raul regrets the demise of the backend shows saying that, “all the glitter is gone.”