Midway Talk from the June Issue
The National Independent Concessionaires Association released an update on H-2B litigation and reports steps towards success in Florida. A preliminary injunction on April 26 stopped the Department of Labor from implementing new H-2B rules set to become operative on April 27. Florida Federal Court Judge Rogers made the ruling to suspend the rules upon further investigation. A Joint Coalition is in the midst of litigation regarding DOL’s H-2B Wage Rules scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2012 in the Philadelphia federal court system. You may contact Bob Johnson, President of Outdoor Amusement Business Association, for more information or with questions.
Crabtree Amusements of Staples, Texas recently refurbished several rides in winter quarters, including their Fajume Wacky Worm, Tivoli Spin Out, Zamperla Looney Airport, Mini-Jets, Eyerly Spider, Pirate’s Cove, and KMG Freak Out. Many of the projects included a fresh paint job with an added step called “baking” to increase the durability of the paint. The show also overhauled all of their gen-sets. Arriving in May will be the show’s new Mulligan Gondola Wheel, which joins another addition to the midway from 2011—a Chance Giant Wheel.
Reithoffer Shows has installed LED lights on their Pharaoh’s Fury using Denny’s Electronics. The show also worked on their Super Himalaya’s tubs and their Wisdom Tornado this winter as well as a number of smaller rehab projects. They are also re-racking the second load of their new Technical Park Stinger. The new attraction was voted the #1 ride at the Florida State Fair reports Rick Reithoffer. The show had a great Florida route in 2012 with their best year ever at the Highland County Fair in Sebring, FL and the Collier County Fair in Naples, FL. They also had a very strong year at the Southwest Florida Fair in Naples.
Garcia Brothers Circus will be performing on Gold Star Amusements Giant Wheel at the Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna, Minnesota August 14 – 19. Three times a day one of the Garcia circus members will walk on the perimeter, 86-feet in the air, of the wheel while it is moving. The circus has performed a similar feat on television. This is Gold Star’s first year as midway provider at the Steele County Free Fair.
The property home to the State Fair of Virginia since 2009 in Caroline County might be sold prior to its scheduled auction set for May. There are currently four parties interested in purchasing the property and possibly a fifth party that may choose to submit an offer. “I think there is a better-thn-50-percent chance that we’ll find a buyer before the auction,” Mark T. Motley, president of Motley’s Auction & Realty Group, told WSLS television. While Mark Lovell and Universal Fairs is not one of the potential buyers, they are interested in operating the State Fair of Virginia either on the Caroline County property or at the fair’s old home at the Richmond International Raceway. Ideally, a large Virginia fair will be operated by Universal Fairs during the same dates set for the 2012 State Fair of Virginia—September 27 through October 3.
Mark Lovell and Universal Fairs also made news as the new operators of the Georgia State Fair in Macon. The fair ran from April 27 through May 6 with midway provided by Dixieland Carnival of Phenix City, AL. The midway was comprised of over 40 rides including a Wadkins Expo Wheel, Sea Ray, Music Fest, Spin Out, Himalaya, and Casino. About 20,000 people attended the first weekend, which contributed to a goal of 50,000 in attendance by fair’s end.
Ottaway Amusements of Derby, Kansas was struck by a severe storm and EF3 tornado while providing rides in Wichita, Kansas. Among the damage was a Chance Century Wheel, which was knocked on its side. The ride is now at the nearby Chance facility.
The Puyallup Spring Fair was attended by 126,165 people in 2012. It is the second highest attendance on count since the event began in 1990 and just 829 people shy of the all-time record set in 2010. The event was held in Puyallup, Washington from April 18 through April 21. Funtastic Shows provided the midway, which included a roller coaster, antique Merry Go Round, Extreme Scream El Nino, and Grand Wheel. There were over 40 rides in total. Funtastic Shows also provides the midway for the main Puyallup Fair that runs from September 7 through 23 in 2012.
Congratulations to fair consultant & game operator Chris Walden and his wife on a new addition to their family: Chris and Allison Walden of Mattoon are proud to announce the birth of their son, Hampton Christian, at 8:07 a.m. on April 10th, 2012. He was born at St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham. He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. His grandparents are Al and Julie Krietemeier, Charleston; and Wayne and Mary Lou Walden, Mt. Carmel. Hampton’s great-grandparents are: the late Cecil and Inez Krietemeier; Florence and the late Ray Richards, Effingham; Leslie and Naoma Walden, Olney; and Theora and the late Eugene Stiff, Dundas. Hampton has a proud big sister Hadleigh. He also has infant twin sisters, Teigan and Tinsley, in Heaven.
Cody Casper of PBJ Happee Day Shows informed Carnival Magazine that Jayne Peters passed away on Wednesday, April 18. She was only 51 years old and had been fighting a battle with cancer. Jayne was the “J” in PBJ and had been a member of the show for 40 years. “She was known to the entire show as Aunt Jayne,” says Cody. She leaves behind two children—Justin and Jamie. “We have gotten a lot of support from everyone in show business and it’s a good feeling to know there are so many people who care,” expresses Cody.
Carnival Magazine is also sad to report that Bob Coil, owner of Dartron Rides from 1991 until 2009 passed away while on vacation in Italy on April 19. Bob was on a three week tour of the country with his wife, Wanda. He named Dartron after his son, Darren. You can read more about Bob’s accomplishments as a ride manufacturer in this month’s article, Ride Roots.
Midway Talk from the May Issue
Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows reports that it was a busy winter for the company. The show’s Zyklon Coaster was sandblasted, repainted with new colors, and fitted with LED lights. Their Mega Drop also received a new LED light package. In addition to these major projects, the show’s Dartron Slide and Crazy Plane were refurbished as well as a number of other maintenance projects. Frank also reports that he plans for the midway to go cashless later this year.
For Ray Cammack Shows, a majority of shop work is done in April, May and June. “We really have a summer quarters!” says Charlene Leavitt. RCS completes refurbishments on a rotation cycle with a “slots” system in their shop. The show is currently redoing a Giant Slide set to be installed permanently at the Los Angeles County Fair in September. They have also just finished a complete refurbishment of The Creep Show with a new paint theme. Charlene also notes that two of the show’s group games were redone. Another recent major project was the refurbishment of the Typhoon Roller Coaster that appeared at the 2011 Los Angeles County Fair. In addition to refurbishments, RCS has also replaced several rides with newer models. This includes a Starship 2000 that was replaced with an Alien Abduction; a Ghost Pirates replaced with a Zombie Mansion; and a Kiddie train replaced with a Groovy Bus Train. “We also purchased a new Flying Dutchman ride and a new Hitch-Hiker Mustard’s Café,” says Charlene.
PBJ Happee Day Shows of Marion, AR reports that they have repainted their Wisdom Moby Dick this past winter quarters. “We also set a new bearing in the Gravitron before it was sent to Denny’s Electronics for new LED lights and wrapping,” says Cody Casper of PBJ. In addition to work on rides, PBJ also spent time leveling ground on their WQ property and setting pillars to extend the ride buildings. The show recently purchased adjoining property to their existing WQ.
Skerbeck Brothers Shows of Escanaba, MI has purchased a Wisdom Orient Express and Owen Cuckoo Haus, both of which will debut on their midway this season. In addition to the purchases, WQ projects included sandblasting and painting their Twister (Ali Baba), refitting the same ride with LED lighting, a complete bearing and shock replacement on the center, sweeps, and cars on the Alpine Bobs, and racking improvements as well as a new paint job for the Spider. “We have an exceptional maintenance staff,” says Sonja Skerbeck. Sonja also informed Carnival Magazine that Skerbeck Brothers Shows is the new midway provider for the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI beginning in 2012. The 2012 event will take place May 4 – 13.
Jack Fanelli of Fanelli’s Amusements reports that it has been a pleasant winter for his show. “The weather in New England has been beautiful with little snow in southern New Hampshire,” Jack says. He and his crew have spent the winter wrapping concessions, carts, trailers, and building marquees for concessions trailers. Using a vinyl printer that Jack purchased 10 years ago, he now offers wrapping services to customers as well as in-house projects. “My son, Johnny, is the graphic designer and does the wrapping,” Jack says. “I have another part-time wrapper and designer for the busiest times.” The show also spent winter fine tuning a number of rides and performing general maintenance on vehicles. Some of the show’s kiddie rides were in operation at an indoor venue during the weekends.
For Playworld Amusements of Alma, MI winter quarters projects included a full restoration of their Zipper. “The Super Shot was also redone,” says Kyle Brady of Playworld. “The show’s Freak Out received a fresh coat of paint and some kid rides were redone.” Kyle also relayed that the show is excited for the arrival of the recently acquired Owens Traffic Jam from EK Fernandez Shows and eager to receive their new Tivoli Remix 2 and a set of new Dalton kid rides with 53-foot trailer that will also carry their Dizzy Dragons.
More reports from winter quarters in next month’s issue.
Ray Cammack Shows recently released a statement regarding a ride accident at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s midway where a three year old child fell approximately 6-8 feet from the Techno Jump ride. According to the statement, “[the accident happened] after her mother left her alone on the ride, in the care of an 8 year old relative. We are thankful the child received only very minor injuries…the young girl met the height requirements set for the ride by the manufacturer...More than 29,000 people rode this Techno Jump without incident in Houston. There are Techno Jump rides in U.S. and abroad, and the rides have an excellent and long standing record of safe operations. The ride in Houston had passed safety inspections before and after this incident and no fault was found with the operation of the ride.”
Kentucky State Fair Board President, Harold Workman, has announced his plan to retire at the end of this year. Mr. Workman has held his position since 1993 and began working with the Agricultural Department during the 1970s. He is now 66 years old. The State Fair board intends to hire a consultant to help in the nation-wide search for a new president. The board hopes to have a replacement set in no more than three months after Mr. Workman’s retirement.
According to an article in the Orange County Register, The Tustin, CA City Council approved a new carnival operator for their annual event, Tustin Tiller Days. Beginning in 2012, North American Amusements Inc. Shamrock Shows will provide rides and concessions for the early-October event n Columbus Tustin Park.
From the Bangor Daily News, Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, NH has signed a five-year contract for the Bangor State Fair. The show has provided the event’s midway for the past 21 years. This year’s event will take place July 27 through August 5 at Bass Park.
C. Cretors and Company announced a new line of stainless steel caramelizers called the CMD line. The CMD25, CMD50, and CMD100 combination cookers and mixers allow businesses to easily cook and mix a variety of savory and caramel flavors. The machines are fully-automated so there is no need for manual mixing. Optional built-in blowers that blow cool air through the perforated steel tray bottom are available and speed up the production process. The machines also feature one-switch operation as well as a digital temperature controller with audible alarm. For more information visit www.cretors.com.
Frank M. Briggs, owner of Modern Midways, passed away on Tuesday, March 13. Age 68, Frank suffered a heart attack while at home. He was a lifelong member of the carnival industry, beginning his career at the age of 8 when he took a job rolling paper cups for snow cones. Frank is survived by his wife, Charlene; three sons, Robert, Edward, and Frank Jr.; two sisters, Patricia Briggs and Kathleen Kerrigan; and five grandchildren.
“Concessionaire Extraordinaire” Mitchell L. Buxton died at the age of 62 on March 19. Mitchell was born on February 2, 1950 and was on Merriam’s Midway for 40 years. Mitchell is survived by his wife, Martha Buxton; son, Paul Geannakouri; daughter, Katy Buxton; parents, David and Catherine Buxton; brother, Tom Kevin Buxton; sisters, Pam Buxton, Debbie (Sorg) Buxton, Jodie Buxton and Kathyleen (Frey) Buxton; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
George Bozinis of Horsheads, NY passed away at the age of 82 on March 3. George spent many years traveling to fairs and other events where he sold and showcased his custom carving redwood signs. George was a member of the industry from 1947 until 2002 when he retired due to health. His father, Nick Bozinis, founded Southern Tier Shows with James E. Strates. George grew up with E. James Strates and both men worked together in Bingo games after graduating high school. Among the fairs that George participated in were The New York State Fair, North Carolina State Fair, and the Eastern States Exposition. George is survived by his wife, Great Paige Bozinis and sister, Marie Shea.■
State Fair of Louisiana Announces 2012 Dates & Theme
SHREVEPORT, La. – At a recent Board of Directors meeting The State Fair of Louisiana officials announced Oct. 25 – Nov. 11, 2012 will be the official dates of the State Fair. The fair board also revealed this year’s theme “Forever Fun,” which celebrates family fun and the new, exciting attractions the fair will offer this year.
“Our 2012 theme ‘Forever Fun,’ is a great expression of what the State Fair means to so many people,” said President & General Manager, Chris Giordano. “The State Fair has an endless supply of unique and new activities, and we want people to experience them all and create lasting memories with their families!”
The board appointed a new member, Mary Ann Van Osdell. Van Osdell is the legislative assistant to Senator Barrow Peacock and freelances for The Forum News. She was previously a communications specialist for the LSU Ag Center and also a reporter/editor for The Shreveport Times.
The executive committee introduced its officers at the meeting as well. Those include Billy Montgomery, Chairman; Wayne Waddell, 1st Vice-Chairman; John Michael Moore, 2nd Vice-Chairman; David Means, III, Secretary; James K. Elrod, Treasurer; and Maxine Sarpy, Immediate Past Chairman. Tari Bradford, Jack Dillard, Andrew Shehee, Liz Swaine and Don Updegraff also serve as members of the executive committee. Jerry Boughton, Forrest Dunn, Ed Powell and Virginia Shehee serve as lifetime members of the executive committee.
The State Fair of Louisiana focuses on being a top choice for affordable family entertainment by providing attractions for all ages that are free with gate admission, including the exciting Circus Hollywood, the exotic Ultimate Safari, entertainers such as Dallas the Fire Guy and PJ the Clown, livestock shows and educational agricultural exhibits. Fair goers may also attend the State Fair’s many headline concerts for free with admission. This year’s lineup includes Frank Foster, Chris Canterbury, Wayne Toups and “A Taste of Mexico” Hispanic Heritage Day. Additional acts will be announced leading up to the fair.
Rodeo lovers can expect some of the biggest names on the professional circuit riding champion bulls and horses and competing at the State Fair of Louisiana PRCA Rodeo on Nov. 2 and 3 in the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.
For more information and up-to-the-date listings of all the events and entertainment as they are announced, visit www.StateFairOfLouisiana.com. Also, fair goers can become a Facebook fan at: facebook.com/TheStateFairofLouisiana.
Archie "Buzz" Lidey Sr. of Tropical Amusement Passes Away
Carnival Magazine contributor Dennis Gilli reported that Buzz Lidey Sr. of Tropical Amusement passed away earlier this month. The following appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune:
Archie "Buzz" Lidey Sr., 76, of Scottdale, passed away Monday, May 7, 2012, at home. He was the retired entrepreneur and owner of Tropical Amusement, Inc., and a member of International Independent Showmen's Association and Pennsylvania Showmen's Association. Born June 6, 1935, in Pittsburgh, he was a son of the late Earl R. and Della Bell (Pepper) Lidey. He is survived by his wife, Jeannette (Laymon) Lidey; son, Archie (Rebecca) Lidey Jr., of Tampa, Fla.; three grandchildren, Alexis Murphy, Archie "Gator" Lidey III and Alisha Fisher; three great-grandchildren, C.J. Lowe, Collin Lowe and Alley Bachel; two stepchildren, Thomas (Amy Laskey) Grindle, of Normalville, and Susan B. (Brian) Thomas, of Wooddale; six stepgrandchildren, Matthew Grindle, Brian, Nicole, Julie and Justin Thomas and Devon Laskey; six siblings, Audrey Baldwin, of Jefferson Hills, Louis "Petey" Lidey, of Riverview, Fla., Phyllis "Big Time" Engel, of Finleyville, Linda (Richard) Jones, of Forward Township, Arlene Steadman, of Monongahela, and Tommy "Kate" (Dave) Bachner, of Eighty-Four; also nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Lois A. Lidey; and sisters, Evelyn Goyorf and JoAnne Salim.
Our condolences to all at Tropical Amusement and the Lidey family.
Bob Coil of Dartron Rides Passes Away
Carnival Magazine is sad to report that Bob Coil, owner of Dartron Rides from 1991 until 2009 passed away while on vaction in Italy on April 19. Bob was on a three week tour of the country with his wife, Wanda. We extend our sympathies to Bob's family, friends, and all those at Battech Enterprises.