Frank M. Briggs Passes Away

Carnival Magazine is sad to report that Frank M. Briggs, owner of Modern Midways, passed away on Tuesday, March 13.  Click here for a memorial article in honor of Mr. Briggs and his history in the business. 

State Fair of Virginia Files for Chapter 7

Carnival Magazine received the following press release from the State Fair of Virginia:




SFVA Inc. Converts from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy   

Lenders reject SFVA's offer to purchase The Meadow Event Park



March 7, 2012 (Doswell, VA) - SFVA Inc., the not-for-profit organization that produces the State Fair of Virginia, today converted its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Richmond District Court. As a proposed resolution to emerge from the Chapter 11 process, SFVA offered to buy the 360-acre Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia from the lender group of secured creditors (made up of lead lender Arbor One, 13 farm credits and the USDA).   On March 5, the lender group rejected the offer and refused requests to produce a counter-offer. Because of the secured creditors' decision not to accept the offer, SFVA Inc. was forced into bankruptcy.


As a result of this action, there will be no further events produced by SFVA Inc., including the Strawberry Hill Races, the State Fair of Virginia and the Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival. Additionally the privately scheduled events at The Meadow Event Park will not be able to take place.


"As chairman of SFVA, I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the lenders' decision. We worked diligently with multiple parties to present the secured creditors with a reasonable offer to purchase The Meadow, and thus allow the 156-year-old tradition of the State Fair of Virginia to continue. Unfortunately, that offer was rejected. Apparently, the secured creditors have other unknown plans for the property," said G. William Beale, SFVA Board of Directors Chairman and CEO - Union First Market Bank.


Since 1989, the State Fair of Virginia Scholarship Program has awarded 2,439 scholarships and has dedicated over $1.8 million to youth education.   It is SFVA's understanding that these funds will, under the guidance of a bankruptcy court-appointed trustee, be sent to Virginia Tech's foundation for administration and distribution.   SFVA's scholarship funds were managed separately from the investment portfolio used as collateral to secure the loan to develop The Meadow Event Park.


"While the outcome of this very difficult situation is extremely disappointing, I am heartened by the support we have received from thousands of well-wishers, Caroline and Hanover County officials, the dedication of our staff, and the partners who have stood by SFVA. We worked hard to create a positive outcome in spite of trying economic times and a uniquely complex situation," said Curry Roberts, President of SFVA Inc.


The lender group opposed providing severance packages to the remaining 17 SFVA staff members, and as of today, all SFVA staff have been removed from payroll and benefit plans. SFVA Inc. requested the creditors release the rights to the State Fair of Virginia, Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival and Strawberry Hill Races. The fate of these events and the property will be determined by the Chapter 7 process and ultimately up to the court-appointed trustee.


The secured creditors are made up of the United States Department of Agriculture, Arbor One of Conway, SC; Regions Bank of Greenville, SC; Farm Credit Bank of Texas of Austin, TX; AgTexas of Lubbock, TX; Farm Credit Services of Grand Forks of Grand Forks, ND; Capital Farm Credit of Bryan, TX; AgStar Financial Services of Mankato, MN; Farm Credit Services of Mid-America of Louisville, KY; Ag Credit of Fostoria, OH; Carolina Farm Credit of Hendersonville, NC; Valley Farm Credit of Winchester, VA; Farm Credit of the Virginias of Staunton, VA; Farm Credit of Southwest Florida of Arcadia, FL; Southwest Georgia of Bainbridge, GA; and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank of Columbia, SC.

State Fair of Virginia Meets with Lenders Next Week

The State Fair of Virginia will meet with lenders next week to present a plan for maintaining the event.  Click here for full story.

Crabtree Amusements will Provide Midway at State Fair of LA



Crabtree Amusements joins the fun along the Midway


SHREVEPORT, La. – The State Fair of Louisiana announced hiring Crabtree Amusements, Inc. as the carnival for the 2012 State Fair. The new carnival will showcase several new rides and an overall fresh look to the State Fair of Louisiana Midway.

                Crabtree Amusements, Inc. is a family-owned and managed traveling amusement park and carnival. In operation since 1978, Crabtree has provided carnivals at many fairs across the country including:

  • The Colorado State Fair                 Pueblo, CO
  • Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo           Austin, TX
  • Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo        Waco, TX
  • Wyoming State Fair                         Douglas, WY

“We are pleased to partner with Crabtree. It is a large carnival that will open up many possibilities for the fair. Plus, Crabtree values variety, affordability, and family fun, just as we do here at the State Fair of Louisiana,” said State Fair President and General Manager, Chris Giordano.

“We pride ourselves in offering families a safe, enjoyable, fun-filled day to remember,” said Crabtree Amusements President, Patrick Crabtree. “We feature bright, clean equipment, courteous employees and many comfort features to ensure the satisfaction of our patrons. Safety is a top priority at Crabtree Amusements. Our equipment is well maintained and conforms to industry standards.”

The State Fair of Louisiana strives to be 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, roving entertainers such as Dallas the Fire Guy and PJ the Clown, livestock shows and educational agricultural exhibits. Fair goers can also attend the State Fair’s many headline concerts for free with admission. Rodeo lovers can always expect some of the biggest names on the professional circuit riding champion bulls and horses and competing at the annual State Fair of Louisiana PRCA Rodeo.

For more information and up-to-the-date listings of all the events and entertainment as they are announced, visit StateFairOfLouisiana.com. Also, fair goers can become a Facebook fan at: facebook.com/TheStateFairofLouisiana. For more information on Crabtree Amusements visit CrabtreeAmusements.net or find them on Facebook.



Florida State Fair & Trade Show Photos Added

Just Added!  See photos from the 2012 Florida State Fair and Gibtown Trade Show.  Look for more photos in the April 2012 Carnival Magazine as well as complete articles on both events.


Florida State Fair Photos


Trade Show Photos