Midway Talk

Smokey Mountain Amusements of Robbinsville, North Carolina is heading to the Bahamas this winter after their traditional season concludes. The show will spend eight weeks in Nassau and possibly another three in Abaco. “We’re going to leave for the Bahamas around the fifteenth of November and opens on the last day or two of the month,” says Billy. Smokey Mountain will provide between 25 and 28 rides. Among the rides will be the Thunderbolt, Sky Wheel, Wipeout, Zipper, MGR, Steeple Chase, and slide. Members of the show will be visiting the island prior to November to measure the lot and determine how many and which rides to bring. The show plans to provide about 20 concessions including about 15 games and food. “Pizza is popular over there,” says Billy.  The Bahamas have welcomed U.S. carnivals for many years including attractions from Cetlin & Wilson Shows many years ago and Crown Amusements most recently. “We’ve been working on it for about year,” explains Billy. The show is working on all the paperwork involved with the trip right now. Will be hiring Bahamians as well as bringing members of the show. “We’re excited about it,” says Billy. He has been to Nassau in the past and about three times in the last year. “We were over there a couple years ago on a cruise from the Showmen’s Club,” he says. The show plans to kick refurbishments into high gear after they return next year. In addition to cleaning salt from the rides after their island visit, Smokey Mountain plans to refurbish their Hurricane, a few kiddie rides, and likely the Paratrooper. In regards to this season, Smokey Mountain has battled hot and wet weather. “We’ve had a few very strong spots including the Catfish Festival in Ware Sholes, South Carolina,” says Billy. The event was a record-breaker. Popular rides this year include the Thunderbolt often taking the number one spot, the Round Up, Hurricane, and Tornado. The Sky Wheel has also been up near the number one spot.

The well-known State Fair of Texas Midway sign was damaged during a June hailstorm. The sign was introduced in 1948 and appeared in the 1962 film, “State Fair.” About 55 of the sign’s glass tubes were broken as well as the illuminated star that appears atop of it. The sign will be repaired, which will take about a month. The 2012 State Fair of Texas will run from September 28 through October 21. There will be 7 new rides on the independent midway this year. Construction of the fair’s new 500-foot observation tower will begin as soon as this year’s event concludes. The new attraction is projected to open for in May at the fair’s first ever Summer Adventures in Fair Park event.

In an update from Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows the show owner told Carnival Magazine that they have finished winter quarters work on a new Tip Top themed Cheese It Up. The ride design is inspired by sponsor Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Also now operating on the Wade Shows’ midway is an Inverter purchased from Scott Fernandez of E.K. Fernandez Shows through Tommy Coffing and UsedRides.com. Wade Shows is finishing work on their Mulligan Wheel, redoing a bumper cars unit, and freshening up their Hit-in-2000. Frank also reports that spending on the midway has generally been good this season. Read more about Wade Shows and their implementation of the FunCard system in this month’s issue.

Registration is now open for the IAAPA Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, November 12 – 16. Key note speaker this year is Jim Reid-Anderson, CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. On the tradeshow floor, 1,100 companies will exhibit their products and services. On-site registration for the Expo costs $368, but those who take advantage of early registration before September 19 will receive a “super saver” rate of $218. IAAPA members will receive additional discounts and can register for $109 before September 19 or $184 on site. For more information visit click here.

Deggeller Attractions of Stuart Florida debuted their new Huss Flipper ride, themed Super Nova, at the Salem Fair in Virginia. According to Carnival Magazine contributor Hugh Shearin, the ride was purchased from The Adventurer’s Family Entertainment Center in Coney Island. It is the second such ride of its kind to be owned by a U.S. carnival—Reithoffer Shows owns a Flipper themed Tornado. Deggeller Attractions prepared the ride for its midway this past winter. The Super Nova was part of a forty-plus ride midway at the 25th Salem Fair, which ran from July 3 – 15. See next month’s Carnival Magazine for a feature article on Deggeller Attractions and the Salem Fair. ■