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The Industry Buzz

The Industry Buzz features carnival, amusement park, fair and festivals news direct from the lots. If you have newsworthy information that you would like to share on, please email For full feature news articles and exclusive interviews, please check our news and interviews section.

Windy City purchases new Wacky Shack & Generator at IAAPA
Chicago based Windy City Amusements announced the purchase of a new, two story Wacky Shack fun house from Owen Trailers and also a new 28ft Generator unit from Showmen Supplies.  The Wacky Shack is set for a spring delivery date and will float between the shows three units in 2015.  Company president Anthony Salerno said the show was still in the process of shopping for another spectacular ride.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 12/15/2014

Drew Expo to upgrade Seattle Wheel lighting
During the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Jim Drew of Drew Expo reported that the show was in the process of refurbishing their Seattle Wheel and would be replacing the existing neon lighting with a new LED system from Denny's Electronics.  "The neon looked great, but was hard to maintain" said Drew.  The LED system Drew plans to install will have a custom program and will display colors similar to the neon that is currently on the ride now.  Every 15-20 minutes, the program will do special colors and patterns, but for the most part, the program will be subtle and retain the historic beauty of the ride.    Posted by Matt Cook on 12/1/2014

Carnival Photo Calendars - ON SALE NOW
2015 Carnival Photo Calendars are now on sale!  

Our 12th edition - The MCW 2015 Carnival Calendar is professionally printed on gloss stock and features over 60 photos of carnivals and concessions from around the country! A must have for any carnival or amusement park lover.

To order, click here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/30/2014

Rides 4-U to host party during IAAPA show

Len Soled's Somerville, NJ based Rides-4U announced that they will be hosting an after-hours party during the IAAPA trade show next week on Wednesday, November 19 from 7-9pm at Fun Spot Orlando.  Soled welcomes all former and current customers to attend the event for food, drinks, and access to the park.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/14/2014

Chance Rides Has Hired a New Sales Manager for the Carnival Market
Wichita, Kan. - Chance Rides recently hired Jeff Miller as Sales Manager for new rides in the North America carnival market. Jeff comes to Chance Rides with over 25 years experience in the amusement ride  industry. 

"We are very pleased to have Jeff on board as we grow our new portable ride production including our new one-trailer Freestyle ride as  well as old favorites such as the Zipper, Pharaoh's Fury and Century Wheel." said Chance Rides' President, Michael Chance. 

You will have the opportunity to meet Jeff at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, November 18 - 21st, booth #5124. And at the Showmen's League of America Exhibitors Lounge on December 8 - 9th, in Las Vegas. Chance Rides' long-time carnival and used rides expert, Duane Wiechman will continue to serve Chance Rides in his current role. So please be sure to stop by to say hello to him at the IAAPA Expo as well.

  Posted by Lisa Hargrove  on 11/11/2014

UPDATED: Wade Shows adds new rides for 2015
Wade Shows announced the addition of four new rides for 2015.  The show purchased a new Monster Truck kiddie ride from Wisdom as well as a Gravitron themed "Centrifuge".  Additionally, the show has added a Quasar themed "Music Express" from ARM and a Zamperla Barnyard themed "Beach Shack".  All four pieces are set to debut at the South Florida Fair this January and will also be featured at the Florida State Fair in Tampa.  The show will also be leasing (with an option to buy) ARM's new Frenzy Ride for both events.   Company owner Frank Zaitshik said "There are several other purchases pending including several more children's rides, other spectacular rides, and support equipment such as trucks and generators".

UPDATED 11/10/14 - Company owner, Frank Zaitshik announced over the weekend that the show also purchased four new Umbrella Rides from Dalton Kid Rides.  The four kiddie rides will rack on two trailers for easy transport and to help consolidate loads.  The show traded in their trailer mounted Hampton Whales and Hampton Dune Buggies.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/10/2014

Rides 4-U to have largest IAAPA booth to date
Len Soled's Rides 4-U, representing KMG, SBF/Visa and S&S, will have their largest booth to date at this years IAAPA Expo in Orlando.  Soled was proud to announce that they will debut the first trailer mounted version of the popular Compact Spinning Coaster and also a trailer mounted version of their pneumatic drop tower, the Drop N Twist, both built by SBF/Visa.  "Both pieces have had tremendous success with Amusement parks" said Soled.  Rides 4-U will also have a new ride on display from SBF/Visa called the Skate 360, which can best be described as a miniature Kamikaze ride.  Outside, the company will have a Frog Hopper from S&S which has been purchased by Campy's Amusements.  The IAAPA Expo runs November 18-21, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/31/2014

CNE General Manager David Bednar Announces His Retirement

CNE General Manager David Bednar announced today that he will be retiring after 16 years as CNE General Manager on the spring of 2015.  "I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. My love for the CNE will continue now as a fan of the fair rather than as General Manager," stated Bednar.

David Bednar has more than 35 years of management experience in the arts and entertainment industry, including 16 years as General Manager of the Canadian National Exhibition. Before joining the CNE in 1998, Mr. Bednar worked with Live Entertainment Corporation (Livent) where he was involved in the development and operation of theatre projects such as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Ragtime” in Toronto and New York. Prior to Livent, he had a ten-year tenure with the prestigious Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake as Director of Operations.

The Canadian National Exhibition is Canada’s largest fair and one of the top 10 exhibitions in North America. Founded in 1879, the CNE generates an economic impact of approximately $58.6 million for the Greater Toronto Area and $80 million for the province of Ontario each year. Over the past decade, the CNE has earned a reputation as the “greenest” fair in North America. Last year alone, it diverted 86.36% (1.856 million kg) of its total waste from landfill.
  Posted by Karen Lynch on 10/23/2014

Indiana's Elkhart County 4H Fair names Bryan Blair as new general manager

The Elkhart County 4H Fair in Goshen, Indiana named long time MCW visitor Bryan Blair as their new General Manager on October 10.  Blair's job as general manager will be to provide leadership and vision for growing the fair, as well as overseeing the fair's staff and grounds for the fair board.  Blair previously worked for the Kentucky State Fair board serving as expositions administrator and also helped re-organize the Taylor County Fair in Campbellsville, KY in 1997 and is an active fair board member.  For more information, click here.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/13/2014

Western Fair District And North American Midway Entertainment Sign 10-Year Contract
London, Ontario, October 6, 2014:  Hugh Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Western Fair District (WFD) is pleased to announce the recent signing of a 10-year contract with North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) as their signature event's sole Midway provider.  This new partnership will add a fresh dimension to the District's fall classic.  

NAME will continue to honor Western Fair's tradition, since 1867, of providing the community with a superior entertainment product, great energy, fun, and community celebration and has committed to present at the 2015 Western Fair:  a Blitzer Roller Coaster;  Niagara Falls Water Flume Ride;  a 110-Foot Giant Ferris Wheel;  Mega Drop Tower and Mach 3 ride, which is a 37 meter arm that with two seats mounted at each end, produces a 3.5g on riders, to name a few of the new rides.   Diaz also noted that due to the size of the ride inventory, new and exciting rides will be provided year-after-year to keep the midway presentation fresh and exciting.

The 2015 Western Fair will be held Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 20.   

  Posted by Amy Girton / NAME on 10/6/2014

2015 Carnival Photo Calendar Contest
Want to win a free 2015 MCW Carnival Photo Calendar?  We are seeking your best fair, midway, or carnival photos to be included in our 2015 Carnival Calendar Photo Contest!  For more information visit:

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/6/2014

Wood Entertainment upgrades lighting on Magnum
Michael Wood recently upgraded the lighting on his Mondial Magnum, replacing the standard flashing LED lights on the rides back wall and front signs with a new custom RGB programmable system from Denny's Electronics.  The new lights are circle shaped and built as low profile modules that are of similar diameter of the turbo bulbs they replaced.  While the cap of the module is clear, the circuit board has a color overlay on it so that the bulb appears to be the same color as the scenery which it borders unlike other RGB color changing LEDS which appear clear / white during the day.

Click here to watch a video of the new LED lights in action.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/3/2014

Deggeller Attractions adds Huss Enterprise & SDC Hang 10 to lineup

Deggeller Attractions added two spectacular rides to its lineup including a Huss Enterprise and a SDC Hang 10.  The Enterprise was purchased from Drew Exposition and the Hang 10 was formerly owned by Gopher State Exposition in Minnesota.  The Enterprise is slated to debut at the Arkansas State Fair next week while the Hang 10 has been in operation for several weeks playing the Maryland State Fair, York Fair, and the Virginia State Fair.  Gopher State last used the ride at the Wisconsin State Fair before selling it to Deggeller.  Drew Exposition retained two Enterprises - one that they will operate and another that will be used for parts.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/1/2014

Deggeller Attractions signs long term contract extension at York Fair
Deggeller Attractions announced today that the show signed a new long term contract extension at the historic York Fair (York, PA).  Deggeller has provided the midway at the fair since 2010.  Previously, the fair was played by Reithoffer Shows for a number of years.  Deggeller fields a main midway and a second kiddieland on the opposite side of the fairgrounds, complete with a Chance Giant Wheel and Century Wheel, Huss Super Nova and Top Spin, a full size roller coaster, among others.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/15/2014

Minnesota State Fair breaks all time attendance record
The 2014 Minnesota State Fair set an all time attendance record with over 1,824,830 guests passing through the gate.  This broke the previous record of 1,790,497 that was set in 2009. 
  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/2/2014

McDonagh's add new features to Big Bamboo Fun House
During a recent visit with Tom and Jeanne McDonagh at the Minnesota State Fair, the couple reported that they were awaiting delivery of a new trick from Italy for their spectacular fun house, the Big Bamboo.  The initial part of the fun house is on ground level and features a unique walkway over a water tank and a rock cave with overhead waterfall.  The new trick will be located just after guests pass through the cave and will be a platform "similar to a Whac a Mole Game where guests have to walk over objects popping up from the ground" described McDonagh.  At the Minnesota State Fair, they added a fog element to the fun houses smoke stack located on top of the tug boat.  For 2014, the fun house has played the Florida State Fair, Houston Livestock Show, San Diego County Fair, Wisconsin State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair and will conclude its season at the State Fair of Texas.  So far, McDonagh reported a successful season.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/29/2014

Showmen Supplies to carry Fabbri ride parts

Showmen Supplies has reached an agreement with the Fabbri Group, an Italian manufacturer of amusement rides, to be the exclusive distributor of Fabbri amusement ride parts for the United States and Canada.

Scott Siefker, Vice President of Showmen Supplies, said, "Because our core business already revolves around the logistics of component part supply, we felt we were ideally suited to managing a ride parts distributorship to service Fabbri ride owners." When asked what would be the greatest benefit of this deal, Siefker stated, "We have 48 years of customer service experience in the amusement industry. This will be a great advantage to owners of Fabbri equipment whose business depends on having their rides in operation and not out of commission while they wait for shipments to arrive from Europe. We know that when they call they need replacement parts to be in stock and shipped quickly and we have a great history of doing exactly that."

Last month, Showmen Supplies acquired the existing US-based Fabbri parts inventory from Amusement Sales, Inc. and has embarked on an expansion of that inventory to have the most commonly sought parts readily available to Fabbri ride owners.  Confronting the task now before them, Scott Siefker said, "We'll have lots of work to do in expanding our parts database, learning the equipment functionality, and familiarizing ourselves with new mechanical systems but I know we're up for the challenge and will do a great job for our customers."

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/15/2014

New rides for the MN State Fair
Several new attractions will be making their debut in Minnesota for the 2014 Minnesota State Fair including Reithoffer Shows' spectacular Stinger, built by Technical Park of Italy.  The Stinger will be taking the place of the Freak Out, which Reithoffer has been bringing to the fair the last couple of years.  Other new attractions slated for the fair include Myers International Midways Crazy Dance, Wave Swinger, and Monster Truck as well as the Dartron Hog Rally from Rose's Rides.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/8/2014

Dixieland Carnival adds KMG Experience
Billy Tucker's Dixieland Carnival added another spectacular ride to its lineup, the KMG Experience.  The Experience is one of only two traveling in the USA and previously belonged to Phoenix based Ray Cammack Shows.  The other Experience is owned by Frazier Shows, also based out of Arizona. 
  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/8/2014

Mary Vakulskas, mother of Carnival Priest, John Vakulskas passes

Mary Vakulskas, loving mother of Tom, Janet,Maria and Father John Vakulskas died July 20, 2014 in Sioux City, Iowa.

Visitation, Wednesday, July 23 3-8 p.m. at the
Christy-Smith Funeral Home
Larkin Chapel
2320 Outer Drive North
Sioux City IA 51104

Funeral: Thursday, July 24 at 10:30 a.m.
Church of the Nativity
4242 Natalia Way
Sioux City, IA 51106

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/22/2014

Walter F. Larson, original manufacturer of the Super Loops, passes

Walter F. Larson, original manufacturer of the Super Loops ride, passed away on July 18, 2014.  Walter F. Larson was born on Sept. 26, 1930, to Walter W. Larson and Anita Jarvis Larson.  Upon graduation from Plainview High School, he attended American Flyers pilot training school in Fort Worth. He married his high school sweetheart Sharon Turner on April 9, 1950. He worked for Claude Hutcherson as a charter pilot and held special fond memories of the medical charter flights he flew. Later, he opened a Ferguson tractor dealership which became known as Larson-Turner Massey-Ferguson located at Fifth Street and Yonkers in Plainview. After selling the dealership to the James Brothers, he ventured into manufacturing high clearance tractors. He possessed a unique and uncanny ability to take what was good and make it awesome. These tractors were customized for a number of unique applications which included being used on tomato plantations, harvesting grapes and corn de-tasseling. He also manufactured Versa-trac highway sweepers. In the early 1970s, he began manufacturing amusement rides and is best known for the Super Loops carnival ride, known today as The Ring of Fire. Featured in the movie "Big, "SuperLoops was the ride Tom Hanks was not big enough to ride. He retired from this business in 2007.

He is preceded in death by a daughter, Melinda Larson. He is survived by his wife of more than 64 years, Sharon Larson; sister Sally Hale of Lubbock; daughters, Sarah Larson of Elgin, Texas, Loretta Haynes and husband Jim of Las Cruces, N.M., and Alice Kofahl and husband Lloyd of Dallas. He is survived by six grandchildren - Dr. Ann Marie Baker and her husband Dr. Chris Baker of Damon, Texas, Andrea Hebison and husband Kent of Lubbock, Larson Hampton and wife Brandi of Aledo, Texas, Katherine Kofahl, Laura Kofahl and Lee Kofahl, all of Dallas. He is survived by eight great-grandchildren, Aria Gras, Ainsley Baker, Preston Baker, Kayden Russell, Addison Hampton, Levi Hampton, Ashlynn Hebison and Zavery Hebison; nephews Tom Andrews of Bowling Green, Va., Jim Andrews of Lubbock, and niece Anita Page of Lubbock.

Memorial services for Walter F. Larson were held on July 21, 2014.  Memorial contributions may be made to: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 710 Joliet St., Plainview, TX 79072 or Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, 600 SW 11th Ave., Amarillo, TX 79101 or to one's favorite charity.

  Posted by Obituary on 7/21/2014

Wade Shows ranked top finalist by Florida State Fair Authority
The Florida State Fair announced Wade Shows was the top ranked finalist to submit a bid to operate the midway at the Florida State Fair.  The Fair has invited Wade Shows to enter negotiations with the fair to coordinate the midway at the 2015, 2016, and 2017 state fairs.  If a contractual agreement between Wade Shows and the Florida State Fair Authority is not reached, the fair will then enter into negotiations with the second ranked highest bidder, Reithoffer Shows.  As more details are announced, we will report them here.  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/8/2014

Miller Spectacular expands route into Kentucky; adds five rides
Freddy Miller reported a strong start to his family's carnival, Miller Spectacular Shows, 2014 season.  Miller expanded its route into Kentucky, picking up several county fairs previously played by Myers International Midways, including the Taylor County Fair in Campbellsville.  So far, Miller has been happy with the new spots on his route and sees a lot of opportunity for growth.  "The fair board at Taylor County was great to work with.  They were very accommodating and open to ideas on ways to grow the fair in the future".   Miller also reported the purchase of five rides including a Zamperla Samba Balloon and Surfs Up.  The Samba Balloon replaces the shows old balloon ride which was damaged in an accident earlier this season.  The show also added two new Schantz food trailers earlier in the year.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/27/2014

Big Rock Amusements adds former McDonagh Amusements Sky Wheel to ride lineup
Matt and Kelly McDonagh's Big Rock Amusements added a Chance Sky Wheel to their ride lineup this past month.  The Sky Wheel was formerly owned by Matt's parents show, McDonagh Amusements before being sold to a private party in 2012.  While the piece is in excellent condition, the show plans to upgrade the existing neon lighting on the ride to something more dependable.  The Sky Wheel is currently in operation on the Big Rock Amusements route.  Last fall, the show purchased Smokey Mountain Amusements Sky Wheel with plans to refurbish it over the winter, however, the project was not complete when the show went on the road this spring.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/2/2014

IAAPA Extends Agreement to Host IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando through 2025

Officials from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Visit Orlando, and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) today announced a six-year extension of their agreement to host IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando through 2025. Approximately 28,800 people from more than 100 nations participated in IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013. The weeklong event is the largest conference and trade show for the worldwide attractions industry and it generates approximately $51.3 million for the Orlando-area economy.  The new contract represents an extension of IAAPA’s previous agreement to host the Expo in Orlando from 2010 through 2019.

Read more (click here)

  Posted by IAAPA PR / Matt Cook on 5/28/2014

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