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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.

Browns Amusements adds Pharaohs Fury to lineup
Browns Amusements of Mesa Arizona have added a Chance Pharaohs Fury to their ride lineup for 2012.  The Pharaohs Fury was purchased from Lou Weavers Interstate Amusements and was completely refurbished by Browns over the winter.  In addition to the Pharaohs Fury, the show also added an Otterbacher Office trailer from Tommy Coffing.  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/9/2012

NAME flooded in McAllen, TX

The Astro Fair unit of North American Midway Entertainment encountered some bad weather this past weekend while set up in McAllen, Texas. The show grounds were completely flooded. After three dry days, the water has subsided and they can begin to asses the damage. Luckily, nobody was hurt in the round of severe storms that passed through the area March 30.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/2/2012

NY State Senate Passes new Ride Safety Bill

ALBANY - The State Senate passed a measure that will help provide the public with more information about amusement parks, carnivals or county fairs so that they can make informed safety decisions. The bill ( S.5868A), sponsored by Senator Pat Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) requires the state and amusement operators to post valuable safety information online and at a ride’s location.

“When families visit amusement parks, carnivals or county fairs, they essentially put their lives into the hands of the park operator, who they must trust to be safe, responsible, and law-abiding,” Senator Gallivan said. “This legislation increases the accessibility to safety records and gives consumers the tools and information to make that determination for themselves.”

“This is another common-sense measure to allow greater public access to important records,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.

The state Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for the licensing and inspection of all amusement devices and attractions operating in New York. The agency maintains an impressive record in protecting county fair, amusement park and carnival visitors here in New York, and, with 1.7 billion visitors nationally in 2010 alone, the amusement industry has also compiled an overwhelmingly positive safety record.

In recent years and after inquiries into public disclosure by Senator Gallivan, some information about ride and amusement operations has begun to be posted online by DOL to allow public review. However, this safety information is limited in scope. This bill addresses the need to update, clarify and make available more of the information used to determine a rides fitness for public use.

This legislation directs DOL to make consumer-relevant safety and licensing information available through a publicly accessible website and requires posting of the web address on signs at the carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks.

The information to be posted online, already routinely compiled by DOL, would include: the date of application submission; approval criteria; full text of visiting inspector’s report; issued fines or violations after permit issuance; proof of violation redress; history of reported accidents or injuries as reported by DOL; and the full text of any safety investigations. Confidential or proprietary information would be excluded.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/27/2012

Mitchell Lee Buxton Dies

Mitchell L. Buxton, 62 of Austin, MN, died March 19, 2012 at Methodist Hospital, Rochester, MN.

Mitchell was born on February 2, 1950 in Austin, MN to David and Catherine (Swatosh) Buxton. He graduated from Austin High School. Mitchell married Martha Keefe on February 7, 1981 at the home of David and Catherine.

Mitchell has been entertaining people in the outdoor amusement business for over 40 years. A true showman, he was known throughout the United States as the Concessionaire Extraordinaire. Mitchell was always able to bring out smiles in people and had many good stories to tell. He was a great father, husband, son, brother and friend.

He was preceded in death by his brother Byron Buxton.

Mitchell is survived by his wife Martha Buxton, Austin, MN; son: Paul Geannakouri; daughter: Katy Buxton; parents: David and Catherine Buxton; brother: Tom Kevin Buxton; sisters: Pam Buxton, Debbie (Sorg) Buxton, Jodie Buxton, Kathyleen (Frey) Buxton; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary. Visitation will be for one hour before the service on Friday. A big come together will follow the service at Lansing Corners.

The family requests that people wear casual and colorful attire to the funeral.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/19/2012

Update: Connie Featherstone Recovering
On Saturday March 17, Gold Star Amusements owner Mike Featherstone reported that his wife Connie would be released from the hospital following a roll-over car accident.  We wish Connie a speedy recovery!  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/18/2012

New additions for All Around Amusements in 2012
All Around Amusements of Chicago announced the addition of several new pieces for 2012.  Those purchased include a Moby Dick and Tornado from Wisdom, a Frog Hopper from Rides 4U, and a Zamperla kiddy ride.  The show also added a new popper from Schantz Manufacturing.  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/13/2012

Frank Briggs Passes

Family and friends are mourning the passing of family patriarch Frank Briggs who died suddenly in his home this afternoon. Frank was a long time carnival operator and his son Robert operates Modern Midways. Frank is survived by a wife and three sons. MCW was glad to call Frank a friend. We will all miss him.

Services for Frank Briggs are as follows:

The wake will be Thursday March 15th from 2pm until 9pm, and also Friday March 16th from 2pm until 9pm

Kerr Parzygnot Funeral Home
540 Dixie Hwy, Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(It is just north of Joe Orr Road on Dixie Highway)
(708) 754-0016

Burial services will be held Saturday March 17th at 10am
St Paul Catholic Church
206 E 25th St, Chicago Heights, IL 60411

If you would like to send a card:

Briggs Family
22901 Sherman Road
Steger IL, 60475

  Posted by Ron Weber on 3/13/2012

Connie Featherstone Recovering from Serious Accident

Connie Featherstone of Gold Star Amusements was involved in a serious rollover car accident over the weekend.  Mike Featherstone reported that her vehicle turned over several times with the seat belt and airbags doing what they were suppose to do and she was able to get out of the vehicle as it landed on all four wheels.  Mike said that doctors will fuse the top five (C1-5) spinal vertebratae which were badly damaged and cracked. She will be in the hospital for a while to make sure she has no paralysis or other after effects. Mike doesn’t know when she will be released but he will obviously stay with her.  Mike thanks everyone for their continued support, but asks to withhold phone calls during this hectic time.


MCW wishes Connie and speedy and healthy recovery.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/12/2012

State Fair of Virginia to liquidate

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.

  Posted by Ron Weber (From Press Release) on 3/7/2012

Windy City busy in winter quarters

Chicago area Windy City Amusements has been busy at work in the shows winter quarter facility this winter.  Projects include a complete rebuild of both of the carnivals Tilt-A-Whirls, a Mosser Free Fall, two Rio Grande Trains, and a complete overhaul of the Predator (Orbiter).  For photos, please click here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/5/2012

Source: Crabtree Amusements signs State Fair of Louisiana
A industry source has reported to MCW that Crabtree Amusements has signed the State Fair of Louisiana for 2012.  The fair was previously played by Lowery Carnival and before that, Wade Shows.  Stay tuned to MCW for further updates.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/25/2012

Alpine Amusements to play Racine County Fair (WI)

With Murphy Brothers not playing the Wisconsin State Fair this year, they have opted not to return to the Racine County Fair due to logistics of their route.  For 2012, the fair will be played by Chicago based Alpine Amusements, who winters in Racine.  Donnie Massie stated that they are very excited to play the fair.  Massie also reported that the show is busy working on their Zero Gravity and is adding a LED lighting package from Rides 4U to their Eli HY5 Wheel.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/16/2012

Fazier Shows buys KMG Speed for 2013 Delivery
KMG Announced that Frazier Shows of Arizona purchased a Speed at the 2012 IISF Gibtown Trade Show.  The ride is set up for a June 2013 delivery.  On display at the 2012 IISF Trade Show was a new Speed ride for Armco Inc.; owners of several extreme thrill rides which are booked at events throughout the US.  Frazier Shows Speed will be the 4th KMG Speed in the USA.  KMG has built approximately 33 Speed rides worldwide.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/12/2012

Wade Shows Signs Nebraska State Fair for 2013
MCW received confirmed word today that Wade Shows has signed the Nebraska State Fair for the 2013 season. More details to follow...  Posted by MCW on 2/11/2012

Pat Guthrie buys Space Wheels and plans to restore them
Gold Medal Shows is pleased to announce that they have recently purchased the original Velare Brothers Space Wheels. The ride travels on four trailers and was built in 1958. The Space Wheels were a part of the Royal American Shows lineup for many years. The ride is now at Gold Medal Shows state of the art winter quarters where it will undergo a full and complete restoration.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/7/2012

Showmen Association Members get FREE Admission to the IISF Trade Show in Gibtown on Thursday

On Thursday, February 9, 2012, members of the OABA, NICA, and all other Showmens Associations will be admitted to the IISF Trade Show for FREE.  All members must show a paid, 2011 membership card.

The IISF Trade Show kicks off February 7 through February 11, 2012 in Gibsonton, FL.  Visit for more information.

See Ya in Gibtown!

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/27/2012

Jean George of Georges Finer Foods Passes
Jean George of Georges Finer foods past away late Saturday or earlier Sunday morning. Services are Tuesday night at Hillsboro Memorial Gardens 2323 W Brandon Blvd. in Tampa.   Service will take place at 1PM Wednesday.  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/24/2012

Don Prevost Passes

We are sad to inform the passing of long time industry concessionaire, Don Prevost.  More details will be posted as they become available.  More information can be found on our message board by clicking here.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 12/29/2011

Marion County Fair Moves Dates, Changes Midway Operators
The Marion County Fair Board (Indiana) voted to change the dates for the 2012 fair from late July to early June.  The midway has been provided by Drew Exposition for the past 26 years and will now be serviced by North American Midway Entertainment.  The Fair is scheduled to take place June 22-30, 2012.  Posted by Matt Cook on 12/15/2011

AD Vivona Passes

MCW is sad to announce the passing of A.D. Vivona.  Arrangements are as follows:

Monday Nov. 28th 6PM-9PM Visitation with a memorial service at 7:30PM at:
Stanfill Funeral Home
10545 S.Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33156
  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/24/2011

Lowery & Crabtree Partner in Ownership of a Chance Giant Wheel

Lowery Carnival Company and Crabtree Amusements announced a partnership in the ownership of a 4 trailer Chance Giant Wheel. The wheel which is currently being set up at the Louisiana State Fair was previously owned by Tony Guadagnos Carnival Midway Attractions in California.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/25/2011

LD Wheeler Passes

Arrangements for LD Wheeler are as follows:  Wed. 26th 2011 visitation 10am; funeral 12:00 noon at Lathams Funeral Home in Elkton, KY. 

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/24/2011

Rainbow Valley Rides to add two new rides in 2012
Rainbow Valley Rides has reported that they plan to add two new rides to their existing ride line up for the 2012 season.  Show co-owner Chip Kedrowicz said they would be replacing their Alpine Village Fun House with a Owen Trailers produced Mardi Gras and replacing their ARM Ali Baba with a Wisdom Genesis.  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/21/2011

Norton Auctioneers under new ownership

Famed amusement and carnival auctioneer, David A. Norton announced that Daniel Satow and Darin Spieth are the new owners of Norton Auctioneers, which he founded in 1966. Although David has retired, he will be on-hand to assist Dan and Darin, as well as customers and clients.

Dan Satow and Darin Spieth are no strangers to Norton Auctioneers of Michigan and the amusement industry, as well as commercial equipment and properties. Dan is an auctioneer, professional appraiser, and Realtor. Darin Spieth is a professional auctioneer as well as a Realtor. Dan started with Norton Auctioneers at the young age of 12, and Darin was a head auctioneer with Norton's for 12 years. Dan and Darin are taking over the positions of President and CEO, respectively. They are excited to be rejoining Norton Auctioneers and look forward to being on the road again.

Says Satow, "I look forward to getting re-acquainted with all of my colleagues from the past and meeting the new faces in today's business that are making things happen."

Dan and Darin's experience, expertise, and enthusiasm is a great asset to Norton Auctioneers. "The addition of Dan and Darin will ensure the professionalism of Norton Auctioneers, Inc. as we continue to play an important part of the amusement industry."

The transition has been a smooth one, with Norton's office manager for over 30 years, Denise Kinsey, assisting. Denise may be seen "on the road" once again, working auctions across the nation. Additionally, Denise is available to help customers with records and receipts from past auctions.

  Posted by Matt Cook / P.R. on 9/19/2011

Bloomsburg Fair Canceled
Here is the story announced today:,0,7112424.story  Posted by Ron Weber, Editor on 9/14/2011

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