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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.

Wade Shows announces Huss Rainbow restoration plans

Wade Shows announced its plans for an extensive refurbishment project of the show's Huss Rainbow.  The show plans on continuing with the original Rainbow theme, but with an updated look including a spectacular LED light package on the boom, gondola, and back wall.  The color scheme of the ride will be similar to its current design, only brighter with the back wall art being a collaboration between TJ the Painter and Jim Ellis of Jimmy's Sticker Shack.  Wade Shows plans to unveil the re-designed Rainbow at the 2013 Oklahoma State Fair this September. 

Earlier this spring, Wade Shows asked fans to submit ideas on a new design via their Facebook page.  The show would like to offer 5 complimentary ride tickets to all of those who submitted their thoughts and designs.  Please contact Wade Shows via Facebook for additional information.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/3/2013

Carnival Connection to this year's Indy 500 winner

Tony Kanaan, winner of this year's Indy 500 which took place last weekend in Indianapolis, has a connection to the carnival industry.  Kanaan is married to Lauren Bohlander, daughter of Gary Bohlander, who together with his family, own and operated Poor Jacks Amusements of Milton Indiana.  Congratulations to Tony, Lauren, and their family!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/29/2013

Mike Safie, Jr., Vice-President of Fajume Rides, Dies in Fatal Car Crash
On Wednesday, May 8th, Mike Safie Jr. was killed in a tragic car accident in El Salvador. He was 53 years old.

Mike Safie, Jr., was Vice-President of the many Safie-owned family businesses begun by his father, Mike Safie, Sr. The Safie family is best known in the carnival industry for the ride company Fajume Rides which they began in 1983. The amusement ride manufacturing company made the popular Wacky Worm family roller coaster. Over the past several decades, they have exported hundreds of rides to countries all over the world.

In addition to the manufacturing business, the family operated over 200 rides with five carnivals that play through Central and South America.

Friends wishing to offer their condolences may do so by mail at the following address:

Fajume Rides
Prolongacion Calle Arce #2320
San Salvador, El Salvador C.A.
or e-mail at
  Posted by MCW Editor on 5/11/2013

Don Massie Sr. recovers from triple bypass surgery

Last week, Don Massie Sr. of Alpine Amusements (Chicago) underwent a scheduled triple bypass surgery and is recovering. Don's son, Donnie III said "He is doing well and anxious to go home." Don will spend much of the first part of the season at home recovering, while Donnie III will handle the day to day operations on the road. "He will take care of most of the book-keeping from home and hopefully be out later in the year", said Donnie III.   Alpine Amusements carries approximately 20 rides and is taking delivery of a S&S Frog Hopper this season and a KMG Freak Out in the fall, both rides purchased through Len Soled's Rides 4-U.  The show travels throughout the Chicagoland area, southern Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana.  We wish Don Sr. a speedy recovery!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/10/2013

Rides 4-U Installs Million Dollar Light Package on Top O Texas Viewing Tower

Len Soled's Rides 4-U Inc. announced the installation of a new, Maxtron LED Lighting package on the "Top O' Texas" viewing tower at the Dallas State Fair Park. The light show is valued at over $1 million, which is the most expensive and extensive package sold by Rides 4-U. The tower stands at over 500ft tall and is the world's tallest tower ride. The lighting system can be synchronized to music and features hundreds of different lighting programs. In addition to the package sold to the State Fair Park, Rides 4-U has been busy selling and delivering new rides to its customers. Tom and Deb Murray of Murray Brothers Inc. recently took delivery of a new S&S Frog Hopper; Steve Broetsky's Frazier Shows is set to take delivery of a new KMG Freak Out next month; and Southern Cross Rides will be taking delivery of a new KMG Inversion just in time for the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California. Rides 4-U has been keeping busy retrofitting existing equipment with new LED lighting packages. Freddy Miller's Miller Spectacular Shows added a LED package to the shows Pharaoh's Fury for 2013.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/6/2013

Skerbeck Carnival adds $1 million in new equipment for 2013 season

Skerbeck Carnival has announced the addition of three new rides for 2013.  Rides include an Owen Trailer's Monkey Maze glass house, a second Majestic Scooter, and the Twin Flip. The Twin Flip is a super spectacular attraction, manufactured by Moser Rides of Italy that travels on two semi trailers. The Twin Flip was previously owned by West Coast Amusements of Canada and is currently the only ride of its type traveling in the United States. In addition to rides, the show also purchased four new bunk houses for its crew.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/19/2013

USCIS Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions

Effective March 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the Department of Labor's (DOL) 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave DOL 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order.  Click here for more information.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/2/2013

Carnival Legend Passes - by Frank Zaitshik

We received this note from Mr. Zaitshik yesterday who was obviously moved by the passing of Mr. Honeycutt.

A carnival legend passed away quietly yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama. Jack Honeycutt, also know as "Top Brass", joined the carnival business in 1932 at the age of 13 after traveling around the country during the Great Depression in search of work. In an interview Jack once said when he walked on the lot the first thing they asked him was "Are you hungry?"

Honeycutt also said that in the carnival business, the  color of your skin didn't matter, only that you carried your weight. He was with a number of shows through his storied career, most notably the Hennis Show, Olson Shows, Strates Shows, Link Shows and finally Wade Shows. He worked his way up the ladder doing a variety of jobs, finishing his days with train shows as the Train Master. He was the only African-American to ever hold that position. 

When I bought the Wade Shows, Jack came with me. We had been close since I was a teenager. I always joked, when speaking about Jack, that when I was a boy, Jack seemed so big he had muscles on his eyebrows. Though he could be an intimidating person if need be, he had a kind heart and always was willing to help a fellow showman.

During the racially charged 60's he always defended the business, portraying it in a positive light in the black community. He helped keep order in the locations we played during those years.

I'm honored to have known Jack Honeycutt and proud to have called him my friend. We believe Mr. Honeycutt was 94 when he died. I'll miss him very much.

  Posted by Editor on 3/27/2013

Reithoffer Shows adds ARM Vertigo

Reithoffer Shows announced the addition of a ARM Vertigo to the show and plans to take delivery in mid April. The Vertigo will compliment the shows Zamperla Sky Swing, enabling both the orange and blue units to have spectacular swing rides.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/26/2013

Jon Luehrs

It is with regret to inform you of the passing of Jon Luehrs.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

The wake will be held from 6pm to 9pm at Fred Hunter Funeral Home located at 6301 Taft Street in Hollywood FL.  The Funeral will be held at 9am Tuesday at Saint Bernadettes Catholic Church located at 7450 Stirling Road in Ft. Lauderdale FL.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/16/2013

Wade Shows to bring Huss Rainbow back on the road
Wade Shows announced Tuesday that they plan to bring their Huss Rainbow back on the road for 2013.  The Rainbow is currently being refurbished and outfitted with new parts, new back wall graphics, and a spectacular light show.  Owner Frank Zaitshik says "it will be the showpiece of all showpieces" when finished.  If all goes to plan, the ride is scheduled to debut at the 2013 Oklahoma State Fair in September.    Posted by Matt Cook on 3/13/2013

Riverview neighbors upset about carnival equipment on property

Residents of the Riverview / Gibsonton, FL area are upset about the storage of carnival equipment during the off season and are seeking a change.  For more information, read the full article by ABC News by clicking here.

Additional discussion to be had on our message board, by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/8/2013

Miami Showmens Club Events

Incoming president of the Miami Showmen's Association, Robert Briggs would like to remind everyone of outgoing President Harlan Bast's Banquet and Ball on board the South Beach Lady Mega Yacht on Monday, February 25th. For more information, please call 954-967-0073. Robert Briggs will be installed as president of the association on Tuesday, February 26 at the club in Ft. Lauderdale. Congratulations to Robert Briggs on his upcoming presidency and Harlan Bast on a great year!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/24/2013

Butler Amusements adds new Roller Coaster and Vertigo for 2013

Butler Amusements announced the purchase of a new 100ft Vertigo from A.R.M. and also a new Roller Coaster called the Ex-Scream Machine.  The Ex-Scream Machine was built by Pinfari, was originally owned by Davis Enterprises.  The coaster will debut at the 2013 California State Fair & Expo in Sacramento, CA and the Vertigo debuted last week at the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival in Indio, CA.

A picture of the new Ex-Scream Machine coaster can be found in the MCW photo gallery by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/20/2013

Browns Amusements adds three new pieces for 2013
Danny Brown announced today that he took delivery of a new Wacky Shack fun house from Owen Trailers.  He added that the show also purchased a new Popper / Funnel Cake combo trailer from Jeff and Holly Swartz' Hitch-Hiker Mfg as well as a Quad Runner from Dalton Kid Rides.  Browns Amusements is currently playing small events and fairs in the Phoenix area before moving south to Yuma, AZ for the Yuma County Fair in early April.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/15/2013

Showmens League makes changes to slate of officers

On the final day of the IISF Trade Show last Saturday, the Showmen's League of America met and changed their 2013 slate of officers. President for 2013 is Chris Atkins; Tom Powell is now 1st vice; Paul Kasin is now 2nd vice; and Ron Porter is now 3rd vice. Burum also noted that Buffalo Bill tickets are 67% sold out for this years drawing in Vegas.  The club would also like to invite all members and their guests to the club's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration at the league's Chicago headquarters (1023 W. Fulton Market, Chicago IL).  There will be a cocktail party on March 15th from 6-9pm and the club will be hosting an open house on Saturday, March 16th following Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Interested parties are asked to RSVP by emailing Joe Burum at or call 312-733-9533.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/14/2013

Dillman Family Rides adds new Dark Ride

Jim Dillman III of Dillman Family Rides has notified us of delivery of his spectacular Haunted House dark ride this past November. The ride, formerly operated by Bill Blake of Olympia, Washington, was trucked to the docks in Jacksonville, where it left for a successful tour at "La Feria -The Park" in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After returning stateside in January, the ride will undergo some re-racking of the support trailers before embarking on its' first East Coast tour. Jim's plans include playing larger county and state fairs with an eye towards operating multiple units in the future.

Photos of the new dark ride can be found in the MCW photo gallery by clicking here.

  Posted by MCW Editor via P.R. on 2/11/2013

Florida State Fair opens

The Florida State Fair opened Thursday to bright sun followed by rain in the evening.  Friday, all students in Hillsborough County had the day off school to attend the fair.  The fair offered various specials to attract the kids.  The midway saw crowds pretty much all day long and into the late evening.

To view photos of the 2013 FL State Fair, click here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/9/2013

Jeremy Floyd purchases Space Roller
Jeremy Floyd confirmed on Wednesday that he purchased a Mondial Space Roller and is in the process of refurbishing it.  The Space Roller was originally owned by his aunt, Jane Baxter, but was sold to an English showman in the US when Jane decided to retire.  Jeremy purchased the ride in early 2013 and plans to book the piece independently.    Posted by Matt Cook on 2/7/2013

Steve Mains Passes

Steve Payton Mains, 65, of Hickory, passed away Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at Catawba Regional Hospice in Newton. He was born Aug. 5, 1947, in Watauga County, to the late RJ and Lucille Potter Mains.

Steve was of the Evangelical Methodist faith, a member of the Board of Directors, and past chairman of St. Stephens Fire Department. He retired as the district Office Manager for the Catawba County Veterans Services Sept. 1, 2009, after 35 years and nine months of service. He was a Credited Veteran Service Representative for NC Veterans Affairs, and a board member for friends of NC Veterans Nursing Home. Steve was a 42-year member of American Legion Post 48 and held numerous offices at the state level for American Legion. He was president of Hickory American Legion Fair and past president of the NC Fair Association. One of Steve's greatest joys was the day the fair would open. He enjoyed standing at the entrance gate and seeing the smiles on children's faces, not to mention any opportunity he had to spend with his family and grandchildren was always a treat. Steve also enjoyed all the wonderful boating trips on Lake Norman.

Steve was presented with many awards and honors. A few of those include the NC Order of the Longleaf Pine Award presented to him by James Hunt and the Holmes McBride Award presented by the NC Fair Association in 2011. In 1970 he was recognized for outstanding community achievement of Vietnam Veterans by President Jimmy Carter. Steve was also appointed by Bev Perdue to serve on the NC Veterans Commission.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Hickory American Legion Fairground, with Pastor Hugh Whitfield officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. Memorials may be sent to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Rd., Newton, NC 28658 or Tri-City Baptist Church, 1409 NC Hwy 16 Conover, NC 28613. The family would like to offer a special thank you to the Hickory American Legion Fair Board and the Hickory American Legion, Post 48. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.bass-smith Bass-Smith Funeral Home is serving the family of Steve Payton Mains.

  Posted by Ron Weber on 2/5/2013

Win a FREE mini IPad from is giving away a MINI iPad per month for orders placed on their web site with a minimum total of $50 (before shipping). is the official distributor of ride parts for rides built by Wisdom Industries including the Gravitron / Starship, Dragon Wagon coasters, one trailer Himalaya, and much more.  More details can be found by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/1/2013

Wapello's June Hardin Passes Away

June Hardin of Wapello Fabrications passed away on Saturday, January 19, 2013.  June was a big supporter of the amusement industry and OABA for many years.  She will be deeply missed.

The arrangements for visitation will be at the United Methodist Church in Wapello, Iowa on Tues. January 22nd from 6-8 PM. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd at 10:30 AM at the same church. There is a memorial fund being set up for the aforementioned church.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/21/2013

PBJ Happee Day Shows adds Zero Gravity & Schantz Trailer for 2013

Cody Casper of PBJ Happee Day Shows announced at the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs convention in Springfield, IL that their show plans to take delivery of a new Zero Gravity from Dartron Industries and a new food trailer from Schantz Manufacturing during the IISF Trade Show and Extravaganza in Gibtown.  Casper said that the Zero Gravity would have a LED lighting package from Denny's Electronics.  Both pieces are slated to be on display during the trade show which takes place February 5-9, 2013.  In 2012 the show took delivery of a new Wisdom Himalaya, also outfitted with a LED lighting package from Denny's Electronics.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/21/2013

SLA Hall of Fame member Harry Heftman Passes

We are sad to report that long time friend of the Showmen's League Harry Heftman has passed away. Harry owned Harry's Hot Dogs located on the first floor of the League's building at 300 W Randolph. Harry was also a Hall of Honor member and father of Ron Heftman, current League Board member and himself a recent Hall of Honor inductee.

Arrangements: The funeral is Friday at 10:00 a.m. at Weinstein Funeral Home, 111 Skokie Blvd, Wilmette, Illinois 60091

  Posted by Joe Burum - SLA on 1/16/2013

Wade Shows upgrades lighting on Giant Wheel
Just in time for opening at the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, Wade Shows installed a new LED lighting package from Denny's Electronics on it's yellow Chance Giant Wheel.  Frank Zaitshik told us "This is so good, I have to let our CFO hold the check book".  Wade opens on January 18th and runs through February 3rd before moving to the Florida State Fair in Tampa and the Pasco County Fair in Dade City, with another unit opening February 7th in San Antonio, TX.  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/14/2013

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