4.15.11 Midway Talk
Carnival Magazine sadly reports that Larry Joseph Orme passed away on Friday, March 11. Larry was the founder and president of Carousel Foods, Inc. Born July 29, 1938, Larry was 72 when he passed away in Brandon, Florida. He was also a co-founder of the National Independent Concessionaires Association. Larry is survived by his wife, Olivia Ruth Miller Orme; his son, Michael Anthony Orme (Diane) of Corydon; his daughter, Cheryl Elaine Orme Reas (Dennis) of Corydon; his grandchildren, Jeremy, Joshua (Beth) and Isaac (Brittany) Orme and Blake (Amy) and Kyle Reas; his great grandchildren, Alexis and Bailey Orme and Abram Reas; his brothers, Melvin, Donald, Dennis, Gary and Randy and his sisters, Bonnie and Patty.
Carnival Magazine contributor Michael Prelesnik informed us that Clara Lee “Charlie” Brott, Ingalls, Elliott, Arnold passed away on February 23, 2011. Charlie was well known in the amusement industry between the 1960’s and early 1980’s. She co-owned Ingalls Amusements with her former husband, Robert E. Ingalls. There she operated the food and helped manage the operation, which traveled throughout Michigan and Indiana. She also was an office manager for WG Wade Shows during their Michigan route and worked in the office of Elliott Amusements where she owned ride equipment with her former husband James Elliott. A memorial service is planned for early June, and this information will be made available at a later date. The family requests that those who desire to make a contribution in memory of Charlie, do so to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008-0780.
Helms & Sons Amusements of Colton, CA reported a 15% increase in ticket sales at the 2011 California Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta. The event is held in Imperial, CA. Although Monday, March 7 was closed due to strong winds, the fair still reached 95,514, up 5% from 2010. On Saturday, March 5, nearly 15,000 people attended the fair, a new single-day record. Food concessions were up a drastic 17% from last year.
Merriam Midway Shows of Somerset, Texas brought their midway to Bandera County March 17 – March 20 for an event titled the Wild Hog Explosion. This is the first time the event hosted a carnival and marked the first time in many years that Bandera County hosted a carnival. The event served as a fundraiser for the local library system. Among the rides provided by Merriam Midway Shows was a 60-foot Wheel, Bumper Cars, and a new carousel.
A 46- year-old man died after falling 28-feet from a roller coaster at the Houston Livestock Show. No problems with the Ray Cammack Shows owned Hi-Miler Coaster were found immediately after the incident or in inspections since then. According to the Rodeo’s chief operating officer, Leroy Shafer, leg restraints and locking mechanisms were not compromised on the car that the man was riding in. Shafer himself rode in the car after the incident and could not move the leg restraint. RCS details their own safety and inspection policies on their website: “RCS performs daily computerized ride and equipment inspections using automated maintenance management created by RCS. Additionally, all rides are inspected during setup and takedown.” The family of the man has subsequently filed a lawsuit naming the Houston Livestock Show and Ray Cammack Shows.
Amanda Storment has been named vice president of public relations and media for the Kentucky State Fair Board. She began her new post on March 1 and brings with her thirty years of experience in the field. Also from the Kentucky State Fair, the fair board has voted to increase admission rates by $2.00. This is the first rate increase since 2007. Tickets will now cost $10 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. The 107th Kentucky State Fair will be held Aug. 18 – Aug. 28 in Louisville. 2010 saw the second highest attendance numbers in four years with more than 600,000. North American Midway Entertainment provides the midway for the Kentucky State Fair.
The Arkansas State Fair has narrowed a list of proposed fairground sites down to four. Originally, the board was considering 17 different locations. The remaining options vary from 450 acres to 827 acres. State Fair Director, Ralph Shoptow explained the questions the board has to consider: “Is it feasible? Can we afford to move or do we need to stay here and try to operate with what we have?” The board will meet in June to make a final decision. The fair is slated for Oct. 14 – Oct. 23 in 2011 and will remain at its current home. Attendance in 2010 was 472,194. Deggeller Attractions provides the midway at the Arkansas State Fair.
The Big E (Eastern State Exposition) has named a new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Eugene J. Cassidy of Longmeadow, Massachusetts has been named for the role. North American Midway Entertainment provides the midway for the Big E. This year’s exposition will be held Sept. 16 – Oct. 2.
Patty Sullivan of Eli Bridge Company reported that they have nearly completed refurbishments on Beauce Carnaval’s Trailer Mounted Scrambler. Eli Bridge is also building new seats for the ride. Beauce Carnaval is based in Quebec.