Midway Talk


Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows reported that his shows second unit has remained in winter quarters this year until July, allowing for more extensive work on rides and support equipment. More than a dozen rides were refurbished as a result of the extended time in the shop. Frank also indicated that Wade Shows is close to an agreement to go cashless along the midway.

Arnold Amusements will provide the midway for the first Great Lakes State Fair in Novi, Michigan. The new event comes after the Michigan State Fair in Detroit ceased to operate an event in 2010. The Great Lakes State Fair will take place at the Suburban Collection Showplace from August 31 through September 3, encompassing the Labor Day holiday. The event is being organized by the Great Lakes Agricultural Board. In addition to the Arnold Amusements midway, the Detroit Shrine Circus will operate four shows each day of the fair. According to the Detroit Free Press, organizers look to bring in 10,000 to 15,000 attendees per day of the event. You can find out more about the Great Lakes State Fair at www.greatlakesstate fair.org.

Universal Fairs, LLC has purchased the assets of the Virginia State Fair. The State Fair had moved through bankruptcy and was available for purchase at auction. Universal Fairs is a Tennessee-based company headed by Mark Lovell. The company is a fair and festival operator. According to multiple sources, Universal Fairs purchased the VA State Fair’s 331 acre property at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County as well as the event’s trademark, name, and presence on the web for $5.35 million. “We love the fair…We’re going to put on a fabulous 10-day event in September,” Mark Lovell told NBC/WSLS 10. The event will start on September 28. Indications are that VA State Fair midway provider Deggeller Attractions will return this year, but a final determination has not been confirmed.

The 16th Annual Bruce Sellner Memorial Golf Tournament will be held July 19 at the Legacy Golf Course in Faribault, Minnesota. Proceeds from the event are donated to LifeSource, a nonprofit organization managing organ and tissue donation in the Midwest. The entry fee for the tournament is $100.00. Dinner Only guest tickets are $20.00. Other sponsorship options are available. You may contact Erin Sellner for an entry form or for more information at 507-291-0538 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alarming news from the State of New York, the Thruway Authority has proposed a 45% toll hike for commercial vehicles. The proposed increase will affect any vehicle with three or more axles. A date for the toll increase is not yet set and there is still time for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to influence the Thruway Authority’s decision.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced the addition of two new staff members. They welcome Ryan Strowger as Vice President of Exhibitions, Conferences, and Sales. He will be responsible for IAAPA’s trade shows, including the Attractions Expo. Strowger served as Director of Business Development for the International Consumer Electronics Show for a number of years. Also joining IAAPA is Amy Pepin who takes the role of Manager of Conference, Trade Show, and Meeting Operations. Among Amy’s duties she will oversee trade show and event registration, coordinate special events, and manage attendee service. Amy has several years of event planning experience.

Gold Medal Products has announced the release of new food item, Funnel Swirls TM. Funnel Swirls TM are easy-to-eat funnel cakes on 12-inch sticks. “Funnel Swirls TM are the ultimate walking food, freeing up one hand for increased beverage sales,” says Gold Medal. The mix is easy to use and can be poured into a Multi-Mold that makes three Funnel Swirls TM at a time in approximately 30 seconds. Sticks are available packed 5,000 per case and in Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cake Mix or Old Fashioned Funnel Cake Mix. For more information visit Gold Medal Products online at www.gmpopcorn.com.


Several new food items will be available at the 2012 Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna, MN. Among the tasty treats are butterfly chips, sweet potato fries, battered mac and cheese wedges, and deep-fried peanut butter. Midway provider, GoldStar Amusements, has also announced they will be offering their Mega Ride ticket, which allows attendees unlimited ride access on all days of the fair for $45.00. The Steele County Fair runs from August 14 through 19. ■