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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.

Oklahoma State Fair on par with 2011 attendance
In a recent visit with Scott Munz, Marketing & Public Relations of the Oklahoma State Fair, Scott reported that attendance figures going into the final weekend of the fair were on part with 2011.  After a rainy start, the fair had perfect weather on its final weekend.  Stay tuned for a final recap on the Oklahoma State Fair in the next coming days.  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/26/2012

Deggeller Attractions makes midway improvements

In a recent visit with Deggeller Attractions at the York Fair, the show recently took delivery of an office tent and new straight frame umbrella tops from Waterloo Tent and Tarp. The show is in the process of changing all of its canvas to a new color scheme of blue, berry, and yellow. In addition to new canvas, the show is also wrapping a lot of signs, marquees, and ride scenery with vinyl graphics by Chuck Wheeler's Amusement Wraps. Other changes include the conversion from incandescent lighting to LED lighting on much of the shows equipment.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/18/2012

Guthrie's Space Wheel Restoration Begins

Pat Guthrie's Gold Medal Shows has reported the start of the restoration of the shows newly acquired Velare Brothers Space Wheel. The show is currently setting up the ride at its Georgia based winter quarters and is assessing what needs to be done to get the ride in working condition. Further discussion and photos can be found on our message board by clicking here.


Space Wheel restoration

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/17/2012

Enter your carnival photo and WIN a FREE CARNIVAL CALENDAR!

Do you have a photo (or photos) of a carnival that you think is calendar worthy? Submit it to MCW's Carnival Photo Calendar contest and your photo could be featured in our 2013 Carnival Photo Calendar and you could win a free calendar! More details at the link below:

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/7/2012

Buzz Barton Passes

Buzz Barton passed away at 5:30 on Friday August 31, 2012 from complications from surgery on the hip.  Buzz's family plans to have a memorial service in Gibtown this February with the cremated remains to be interred in Showmen's Rest in Tampa.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/6/2012

Nebraska State Fair Sky Ride makes opening

After an accident involving two trucks carrying parts for the new Sky Ride at the Nebraska State Fair were totaled, the new Sky Ride officially made opening at the 2012 fair.  Wade Shows' Richard Armstrong, who is managing the ride at the fair, stated  "Everybody seems to like it. I haven’t heard any complaints yet. It has been non-stop since we started."  Wade Shows is operating the Sky Ride at the 2012 fair and will be providing the carnival midway in 2013.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/27/2012

David A. Norton Passes - Norton Auctioneers

David A. Norton, 63, of Coldwater, Michigan, passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at his home.
Mr. Norton was a lifelong resident of Coldwater. David owned and operated Norton Auctioneers in Coldwater for over forty years. He was a world famous auctioneer, conducting over 4000 auctions in 44 states and several foreign countries. He has held a real estate license since 1967 and was one of the few auctioneers licensed in every state. David was also very generous with benefit auctions, helping to raise over 3 million dollars for their causes. Mr. Norton was very active in his many trade organizations. He was past president of the Michigan State Auctioneer Assoc., National Past President of the Showmen League of America and 10 year director of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association. He belonged to the American Coaster Enthusiast, National Carousel Association, Int'l Assoc. of Fairs & Exposition, Int'l Assoc. of Amusement Parks, Nat'l Auctioneers Assoc., Circus Fans of America and Tampa Showmen's Club. David was an active member of the Coldwater Elks #1023 and a former Elk of the Year; he was very supportive of the Tibbits Opera House and had served as past Director of the Tibbits Foundation. David also belonged to the Coldwater Rotary, Lions and Optimist Clubs.
The funeral Service will be held on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM at the First Baptist Church in Coldwater with Pastor David Pierce officiating. Visitation will be Thursday, August 23, from 2 - 8:00 PM at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater. Interment of ashes will be held at a later date at Oak Grove Cemetery in Coldwater.

Memorials may be directed to the Tibbits Restoration Fund:

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/20/2012

Zaitshik "cautiously optimistic" that Sky Ride will open in time for Nebraska State Fair

Wade Show's Frank Zaitshik remains “cautiously optimistic” that the new Sky Ride for the Nebraska State Fair will make opening on August 24. Parts of the Sky Ride, a new attraction at the 2012 fair operated by Wade Shows, encountered some damage while being transported from Florida to the fairgrounds in Grand Island. On August 6, just outside Grand Island, two of the rides semi trailers were merging onto I-80 when another semi trailer collided with them, causing all three semis involved to catch fire. Ultimately, all of the contents of the trailer were destroyed in the fire. Through strong dedication by Wade Shows and help from the Nebraska State Fair, they were able to find replacement parts for the ride in hopes of making opening. Zaitshik reported “the cables were installed yesterday” and in coming days, the grip bars will be installed and the bull wheels will be calibrated.

Earlier this year, Wade Shows was awarded the 2012 contract to provide the Sky Ride for the Nebraska State Fair and the full carnival midway in 2013. The carnival rides and attractions are currently being provided by Belle City Amusements, a contract that they assumed through Jim Murphy's Mighty Bluegrass Shows.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/18/2012

Little Pete passes

Little Pete, 84 who worked aside Ward Hall's "World of Oddities", had passed away on Monday, July 30, 2012.  Pete, also known as Poobah, starred as a Lollipop kid in the 1939 filming of Wizard of Oz.  Pete will be missed by many.

 Little Pete

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/31/2012

Wisconsin State Fair Set-Up Underway

With a little over a week before its August 2nd opening, the first ever Wisconsin State Fair Independent Midway is starting to take shape. Super spectacular pieces such as S&J Entertainment's Windstorm Roller Coaster, Huss Flipper, Sky Attraction's KMG Stratosphere and Fun Factory, and Nick Pelino's Viper, Beetle Bobs, and Love Bugs have arrived and already being set up. Dubbed by the fair as "Spin City", the midway features plenty of aluminum benches, rest areas, and other midway amenities branded with the color scheme and name of Spin City.  Rides will be tickets only with no unlimited ride special being offered, however, the fair is offering a discount on pre-sale tickets through its web site.

Photos and additional coverage can be found on MCW's discussion board by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/26/2012

Industry Veteran Paul Dell Passes
Paul Dell (85) of Gibsonton Florida passed away Thursday, July 25th at 2:35 pm after a prolonged illness. Paul is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Beryl; his children, Barbara  Wilson, Phil Dell, Danny Dell, Nancy Rider, and Clara Edmiston.  He has 15 grand children and 11 great grand children.

Paul spent his childhood with his family in the carnival business.  He traveled with Sunset Amusements, H.P. Large Shows, Greater Sulton Shows, Blue Grass Shows and many others in the concessions and food industry.

Paul was instrumental in the formation and growth of Gibsonton's Showmen's Club (IISA). He is past president of the IISA, Trade Show chairman and a member of Showmen's Shriner Association. He was an avid supporter of the Scholarship Committee.  Paul is well known as an avid card player by all is friends.

Services are Friday, July 27th , 2 PM at:
Sunset Memory Gardens
11005 U.S. Hwy 301
Thonontossa, Florida

Services following viewing.

Gathering of friends at the Showmen's Club in Riverview, Florida after services.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Gibsonton or Tampa Scholarship Fund in Paul's memory.

SRV Scholarship Fund SRV
Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 188
6915 Riverview Drive
Gibsonton, Fl.33534
Riverview, Fl. 33578  Posted by Steve Ianni on 7/26/2012

2012 Minnesota State Fair Independent Midway

The independent midway for the 2012 Minnesota State Fair has been announced.  The midway features 12 new rides/attractions to the mighty midway/kidway including 6 new operators.  New highlights include the Fun Factory and Stratosphere from Sky Attractions (Tom McDonagh), a Huss Flipper from S&J Entertainment, a Freak Out from Reithoffer Shows and much more.

Click here to download the complete list of rides, games, and attractions for the 2012 MN State Fair.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/19/2012

Tom and Jeanne McDonagh add KMG Fun Factory

Tom McDonagh announced the addition of a KMG Fun Factory to their lineup of spectacular amusement rides.  The ride was imported from Europe and will debut at the first ever independent midway at the Wisconsin State Fair.  The Fun Factory is a ride based on the ever popular Waltzer in Europe. The Fun Factory runs at a speed of approximately 18 r.p.m., in which the gondolas make every movement one can think of including raising and lowering.  The Fun Factory is built on one trailer.  The Fun Factory will accompany their KMG Stratosphere Swing Tower, Sky Wheel, and European Fun House (debuting later this year).

KMG Fun Factory

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/11/2012

2012 Wisconsin State Fair Independent Midway Announced

The first ever independent midway for the 2012 Wisconsin State Fair has been announced.  Highlights include the 200ft tall Stratosphere Swing Tower and KMG Fun Factory from Tom & Jeanee Mcdonagh's Sky Attractions; a Freak Out from Poor Jacks Amusements; a Huss Flipper and Windstorm from SJ Entertainment; and many more. 

Click here to download the complete list of rides, games, and attractions for the 2012 WI State Fair.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/6/2012

Wenzel Amusements adds LEDs to Rock O Plane; Spectrum adds Hi Roller
Wenzel Amusements of Wisconsin is awaiting delivery of a new LED light kit for their Rock O Plane.  The show is currently in the process of upgrading much of their lighting to LEDs.  Spectrum Entertainment of Michigan has purchased the Hi Roller from Wisconsin based Mr. Eds Magic Midways.  Posted by Ken Kugler on 6/21/2012

Arkansas State Fair to Stay in Little Rock
The Arkansas State Fair board voted yesterday to keep the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock at its current location.  The city has pledged $3 million for improvements to the grounds and buildings over the next 10 years.  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/15/2012

Kevin Exum adds Huss Enterprise to Show

Kevin Exum's Happy World Shows (Cedar Park, Texas) added a Huss Enterprise to the show for 2012. The ride which was purchased from a park has been completely overhauled by the show and features a unique LED lighting system like no other. The show recently installed a LED lighting system on their Fabbri Footloose that uses the same technology used on large LED billboards and has the capabilities of displaying video on the arms and sign of the ride.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/12/2012

Fantasy Amusements adds new LED Lighting package to Century Wheel

Chicago's Fantasy Amusements has reported the addition of a RGB LED Lighting Package for their Chance Century Wheel. In 2009, the show replaced all incandescent lighting on the ride with screw in LED bulbs. In an effort to convert the entire show to LED lighting, the LED bulbs that are currently on the wheel will be moved to the shows Wisdom Matterhorn (Himalaya) and/or the 1001 Nachts. The show also added four automated ticketing machines from Uni-Glide.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/22/2012

Playworld & Wood to book rides at 50th State Fair
EK Fernandez Shows of Hawaii will feature three new rides at its 50th State Fair, which kicks off Memorial Day weekend.  For the first time ever, Jeff Brady's Playworld Amusements of Michigan will be bringing its Dartron Rave and ARM Super Shot to the fair.  Also featured is Wood Entertainment's Tivoli Techno Power, a first at the fair.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/15/2012

Rainbow Valley Rides to take delivery of new Wisdom Genesis

This week, Rainbow Valley Rides of Almond, WI will be taking delivery of a new Genesis Ride from Wisdom Industries.  The piece replaces the shows ARM Ali Baba ride in an effort to keep the ride lineup fresh.  Rainbow Valley also recently gave their Eli Eagle 16 Ferris Wheel a complete overhauled in winter quarters and the ride looks brand new. 

  Posted by Matt Cook on 5/14/2012

Bob Coil Passes

MCW has received word that Bob Coil, formerly owner of Dartron Industries, passed away during a recent trip to Italy with his wife.  Bob was a friend to many in the carnival industry and will be missed.  A discussion is ongoing on our message board by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/25/2012

Deggeller Attractions adds Mouse Coaster & Huss Flipper to show

Deggeller Attractions has announced the addition of two spectacular rides to their lineup: a Mouse Coaster and a Huss Flipper. Both pieces were acquired from amusement parks on the east coast. With the addition of the Huss Flipper, Deggeller Attractions will be the second traveling carnival in North America to own a ride of its type. Up until now, Reithoffer Shows operated the only traveling Huss Flipper, themed Tornado. Both pieces are at Deggeller's winter quarters in Stuart, Florida being refurbished by Scott MacNeil.

 New Flipper & Crazy Mouse for Deggeller Attractions

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/23/2012

Ottaway Amusements suffers storm damage following weekend storms

Danny Ottaway's Ottaway Amusements fell victim to this weekends storms just outside of Wichita, Kansas. The Century Wheel was blown on its side, on top of the Go Gator. Luckily nobody was injured. We wish Danny and his crew the best of luck recovering from this storm.

Photos have been uploaded to the MCW photo gallery. You can view them by clicking here.

Click here to discuss this topic on MCW's Message Board.

Ottaway Amusements damaged Century Wheel

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/16/2012

Congratulations to Chris and Allison Walden
Congratulations to Chris and Allison Walden on the birth of their newborn baby, Hampton Christian Walden.  Hampton was born on April 10, 2012 weighing 7lb 8oz and measuring 20 inches.  Chris and Allison own and operate games with Tinsley's Amusements and Chris also manages the independent game midway for the Minnesota and Wisconsin State Fairs.    Posted by Matt Cook on 4/11/2012

Wood Entertainment gives their Starship a new look
Michael Wood's Wood Entertainment upgraded its Wisdom Starship 3000 by adding a new LED lighting package from Denny's Electronics, a new graphics package, and a whole new name.  The rides new name is Area 51.  You can view photos of the ride by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/10/2012

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