Larry Orme Passes

Carnival Magazine sadly reports that Larry Orme passed away on Friday, March 11 in Brandon, Florida.· From NICA:

Larry Joseph Orme, 72, of Louisville, formerly of Corydon, died Friday, March 11, 2011 in Brandon, Florida.  He was born July 29, 1938, in New Albany, to the late James Melvin and Ethelda Rhoades Orme.  He was the founder and president of Carousel Foods, Inc., was the co-founder of Old Capitol Cleaners, the Old Capitol Inn Best Western Hotel, Restaurant and Lounge and Frisch's Big Boy all in Corydon, was the founder and owner, with his wife, of Pop's Rib Bones Restaurant in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and later in life he led the Orme and Reas families to participate in Storm Service, Inc. in providing food, shelter and comfort to people involved in natural disasters.  He was also a co-founder of the National Independent Concessionaires Association and a member of the Hurstbourne Baptist Church in Louisville.

Larry always recognized the good in each of the people whose lives he touched.  Ever so gently he encouraged each of us to put forth our best and introduced us to a quality or talent we had hidden.  He was a teacher by example and took many risks in order to do the right thing, in all instances.  In the continued spirit of Larry and the Miller family, his family will continue the fair business, which was inherited from Olivia's father, Chet Miller.

Survivors include 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.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the New Life Christian Church, 8090 Tandy Road, Lanesville, Indiana 47136.  Entombment will be in the Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park in New Albany, Indiana.

Visitation will be from 12:00 - 8:00 p.m. Friday at Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home in Corydon, Indiana and after 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy be made to the Jefferson Street Baptist Center, 733 East Jefferson Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.

Pallbearers will be Jeremy, Joshua and Isaac Orme and Blake and Kyle Reas.  The honorary pallbearer will be Billy Taylor.

Nevada State Fair on Hiatus

After much deliberation, Nevada has decided to cancel the 2011 State Fair, which had been scheduled for August.  The fair had been held annually for 136 years.  "An insurmountable budget deficit," had been cited by the Washington Post and other news sources as the reason for this year's cancellation.  Plans are to hold the state fair once again in 2012.

2.3.11 Midway Talk

GUARD DOG® LOW PROFILE CABLE PROTECTORS has released a new line of products.  GUARD DOG® LOW PROFILE is the industry’s widest variety of compact, heavy duty, top-loading cable protectors. Available with 1, 2, 3, or 5 channels, these protectors are only 1.25” high with a .75” channel height. They protect your valuable cables, reduce trip hazards, and feature either standard ramps or low angle ADA Compliant ramps. Optional rubber pads can be added to increase traction. www.cableprotector.com.

On Wednesday, February 2, the television series, Deep Fried premiered on the Travel Channel.  The one-hour special is centered on Chicken Charlie and his staff at the Big Fresno Fair.  Chicken Charlie is the inventor of the deep-fried Oreo and is well known on the midway.  Chicken Charlie’s concession trailer built by Hitch-Hiker Mfg. is featured in the show.

A host of new food items premiered at the 2011 Florida State Fair, February 10 – 21.  Fairgoers were offered Deep-Fried Mashed Potatoes On A Stick, Grilled Meatloaf Sundaes, Maple-Bacon Cupcakes, French Toast Burgers, Ice Cream Burgers, and Velvet Funnel Cakes.  The Ice Cream Burger consists of a cheeseburger stuffed with fried ice cream.  Among the 106 rides on the independent midway are the Daytona Kiddie Ride and Deggeller Attractions Comet Roller Coaster, Riptide.  A complete article on the Florida State Fair will appear in next month’s issue.

Billy Clark of Smokey Mountain Amusements told Carnival Magazine that he has re-signed all of his carnival’s fair contracts for 2011.  Smokey Mountain Amusements has also re-signed the Drexel Community Fair in North Carolina after a three year absence.  In winter quarters, Smokey Mountain Amusements is busy refurbishing rides including their Steeplechase and Tilt-A-Whirl.  The two refurbished rides will re-join the carnival’s ride line-up in 2011.


From the New York Fair Convention: Bob Grems, Manager Dutchess Co Fair ran a workshop entitled, "Changes that Work for Your Fair."  He promoted advance sale  of ride and admission tickets as well as a food discount program he introduced at Dutchess Co. $10 of food tickets were available for $8 before the fair. The fair absorbed $1 and food vendors absorbed the other $1. All food vendors must participate in the program for it to work.   They sold a Family Funpack that had gate tickets, ride tickets and food tickets.  The Big E in Massachusetts is trying a similar food program.  Grems also suggested ways to accept credit cards at the gate to keep cash in customers’ hands to spend with vendors.  A corporate sponsorship program sends underprivileged children to the fair and gets publicity for the sponsors.  Some smaller fairs in NY have been successful by switching to a free gate. Examples are Oswego Co at Sandy Creek, Lewis Co at Lowville and St Lawrence Co at Gouverneur.


Labor costs remain an issue in NY. The State continues to enforce OT for more than 40 hours per week. NY does not recognize the federal fair labor Standards Act which makes exceptions to the OT rules for seasonal businesses. The NY State Assoc. of Agricultural Fairs, OABA and NY State Showpeople's Assoc. are working with 2 lobbyists to try to get the NY practice changed.


A NY State Amusement Industry Recreation Political Action Committee [NYS AIR PAC] has been formed to support politicians who share common interests with the fair and carnival industry.  Read this month’s article on January’s fair conventions for more information.


Family Attractions of Valdosta, Georgia has been selected to provide the midway for the 2011 Union County Fair in Union, South Carolina.· The fair dates back tom 1908 and is held in mid-October.· The midway will consist of at least 35 rides.  Family Attractions is owned by Dominic Macaroni. 


It was announced in a press release from the National Independent Concessionaires Association (NICA) that Dave Schlabach has stepped down as President/CEO due to personal reasons and management issues.  The organization commended the work of Dave as they prepared for the upcoming Western Fairs Association Convention and the February NICA Business Expo & Foods Show in Tampa, Florida


In circus news, Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment (producer of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus) has announced that his daughters are now co-producers of the circus.  Hi two eldest daughters—Nicole and Alana—will produce the show while his youngest daughter—Juliette—will fulfil the role of director of strategic planning.


Superior Carnival based in Clarence, Iowa has been selected as the 2011 midway provider for the Allamakee County Fair in Iowa.  Dates for the event have been shifted from July 6 – 10 to July 20 – 24.  Indianhead Amusements was the previous midway provider.


Sustainival, a new carnival company based in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) launched at their first event, the Freezing Man Festival.  The Edmonton event was held January 29.  Sustainival is an earth-friendly company with sustainability and the core of their business plan.  Among their green efforts, all of the carnival’s rides run on vegetable oil.  Among the rides are a Ferris Wheel, Gravitron, and Zipper.  Sustainival was founded by Joey Hundert.


The Reno Gazette reports that the Nevada State Fair is facing financial difficulties and runs the risk of cancelling the event.  The Nevada State Fair has been held for 136 years.  The fair is now seeking alternative forms of funding in order to remain in operation.  State fair executive director, Rich Crombie told the paper, “If we don’t fix the situation were in, in all likelihood there won’t be a fair.”


A recent study found the Colorado State Fair has a strong, positive impact on the state’s income.  According to the study, the eleven-day event brings in $20.1 million for the City of Lakewood; $21 million for Pueblo County; and $29 million at the state level.  The study examined profits from the State Fair only as opposed to including events held on the fairgrounds throughout the year.  As reported in the Pueblo Chieftain, “The Fair commissioned the $20,000 study, which was done by the Incents Group.”


The Minnesota State Fair has been awarded six-million dollars for improvements and maintenance projects on the state’s fairgrounds.  Among the planned work on the 320-acre fairgrounds are new buildings, restrooms, and a host of maintenance projects.  The funding was made possible through Minnesota State Fair grants and State Fair operating income.  The projects were approved in January at an annual meeting.  At the meeting, Denny Baker was re-elected to a one-year term as president of the State Fair.  Inducted into the Minnesota State Fair Hall of Fame were Steve Pooch and Karen Leach.


At the Virginia Association of Fair Convention, held January 7 – 8 in Hot Springs, VA, Deggeller Attractions re-signed the Rockingham County Fair in Harrisonburg, VA (August 15 – 20) for three more years.  The carnival also signed contracts to provide the midway at the Madison County Fair (July 12 – 16) and the Augusta County Fair (August 9 – 16).  The two Virginia fairs are only fifty miles apart.  Later in January, it was also announced that Deggeller Attractions acquired the contract for the York Fair in York, Pennsylvania.  Deggeller Attractions will expand the fair’s midway in 2011, providing their Wild Cat Coaster (Riptide).  

Steve Ianni Joins Powers Great American Midways

Steve Ianni has been announced as the new Concessions Manager for Powers Great American Midways.  Steve is an industry veteran and served as President of the International Independent Showmen’s Association in 2009.

Larson Intl. Acquires Acquires Sellner Manufacturing

In a press release from today, Jeff Novotny, President of Larson International, Inc. proudly announced that his company has purchased Sellner Manufacturing.· The deal was finalized on Tuesday, January 18.

According to the press release, "Except the building, Larson acquired everything from the Minnesota factory including ride plans, molds, computers, office furniture, equipment and machines..."

Regarding the deal, Mr. Novotny says, "We are very excited about this.· It gives us wonderful opportunities.·Out of respect for the long history of this company and the family, and because of wide industry recognition of the Sellner product, I intend to keep and use the Sellner name."

All Sellner equipment and parts can now be ordered directly through Larson's spare parts' division in the Plainview, Texas office.

A complete story of this news will appear in the March 2011 issue of Carnival Magazine.

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