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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.

Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Sr. passes
Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Sr., age 73 of Judsonia, died Monday, July 25, 2016 in Searcy.  Mokey was the owner of Star Amusements of Arkansas and owned several CP Huntington trains. He was born January 26, 1943 in Judsonia, Arkansas to Robert Choate, Sr. and Camella Roseanne Winch Choate. He is survived by one son, Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Jr. and wife Tonya of Judsonia; two daughters, Luanne Quattlebaum and husband Alan of Judsonia, Phyllisha Swindle and husband Jeremy of Searcy; six grandchildren, Krystal Quattlebaum of Judsonia, Kristin Choate of Judsonia, Trea Choate of Judsonia, Brianna Choate of Judsonia, Hunter Choate of Beebe, Landon Swindle of Searcy; and numerous loving great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
  Posted by Obiturary on 8/2/2016

Tara Pugh passes - updated 7/18
It is with great sadness to report the passing of Tara Pugh. 

Pugh, Tara Michelle 36, of Lithia, made her final jump to be with the Lord on July 12, 2016.

Tara was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin and friend. Born in New Castle, IN, raised in Gibsonton, FL before moving to Lithia. Tara spent her childhood with family on the road, traveling with the Amusement Industry. Nothing much changed as she grew into adulthood and met and married the love of her life. Together, they built Pugh Concessions and continued to travel, spending the majority of their time with Reithoffer Shows, Inc. Tara is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Forrest (Ace) and Nancy Mathews.

She is survived by her loving husband, Robert (Beau) Pugh; sons, Clark and Parker; Mother, Carla (Dick - deceased) Rigby; father, Coy Heatherly Jr. ; grandmother, Barbara (Jim) Evans; brother, Coy Max Heatherly; step-brothers, Rande (Joelle) Rigby; Robby (Tish) Rigby; aunt, Teresa (Al) Rimes; uncle, Jeff (Jeanie) Mathews; in-laws, Robert "Bobby" (Debbie) Pugh; Cheri Pugh; Lori (Doug) Dills; as well as

many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Tara was remembered most by the big beautiful smile always displayed on her face. Her main devotion in life was to make her "three boys" happy. She loved and lived life to the fullest. She loved to entertain and plan elaborately decorated events. She enjoyed boating and traveling. She was passionately committed to her family and she had an unwavering love for her business. Tara was a gold card member of the International Independent Showmen's Association and a past First Lady.

Services will be held as follows:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Serenity Meadows
6919 Providence Road, Riverview, FL  33578  

Visitation will be held from 10:30 am to 1 pm with the funeral service beginning at 1pm.

Flowers are appreciated .. Tara Loved Flowers!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tara's family and friends.
  Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 7/13/2016

Wade Shows adds first portable Street Fighter Revolution in US
Wade Shows CEO, Frank Zaitshik announced the purchase of yet another new ride for the 2016 season, a Street Fighter Revolution from Technical Park.  The Street Fighter Revolution is in similar design to the traditional Street Fighter, but it makes a complete 360 degree loop upside down.  The show purchased a used Street Fighter from a showman overseas and Technical Park will be converting it to the looping model at their Italy based facility.  While several Street Fighter Revolution models have been sold to piers and small amusement parks in the US, Wade's Street Fighter Revolution is the first portable version to be owned by a US based Carnival.

The Street Fighter Revolution joins a long list of purchases made by Wade Shows for the 2016 season - totaling over $5 million.  Earlier, Wade Shows announced the purchase of a 45 meter Giant Wheel in partnership with Wood Entertainment.  The Show also added a Zero Gravity from Battech, a Puppy Roll from Featherston, a Dumbo ride from Kolmax-Plus, and a used Jungle Twist coaster.  The show also is having its Zipper re-manufactured by Chance Rides, which will be like new and feature the manufacturers new open air tub design.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/25/2016

Chance Rides President, Mike Chance, passes
Statement from Dick Chance, CEO Chance Rides and father:

"Yesterday our family and company suffered a tremendous loss. Our son and company president Mike Chance lost his long‐term and well‐fought battle with depression. Mike had suffered from this tough disease for years and had faithfully sought treatment and relief from its effects. Like any other disease that is not yet well understood, depression is often difficult to successfully treat.  

We are proud of Mike for bravely fighting this disease for years while living a full and rich life as a wonderful husband and father, son, grandson, brother, friend and a great company leader. He was a triathlete who competed alongside friends in Iron Man triathlons across the country.  

Mike valiantly fought this disease while focusing on doing great work together with our employees so the fact that he had this disease will come as a surprise to many who knew him.  Just as with other diseases that take our loved ones too early, our family's hope is that research into the treatment for depression will advance. And that those seeking relief from this disease will find a path to successful treatment."

Mike Chance died Tuesday, April 19 at age 42. Service arrangements and memorials are pending. Chance Rides announced the news to employees this morning and is offering ongoing grief counseling for its 100 employees. 

A celebration of Mike's life will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church 1550 N. Chapel Hill Drive, Wichita, KS 67206. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations:  
KidzCope, 9415 E. Harry, Suite 501, Wichita, KS 67207
Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, 555 N. Woodlawn, Suite 3105, Wichita, KS 67208.    

  Posted by Dick Chance Press Release on 4/20/2016

Wisdom Rides Walter Williams passes
Long time Wisdom Rides parts department supervisor, Walter Williams passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, April 8, 2016.  

He lived his youth all over the world as an "Army Brat". It was a life he loved and one that led him to join the United States Air Force on his 17th birthday. He served 8 years, being stationed in the U.S. and Korea. He was a part of the effort in shipping of all ammunition at Kunsan Air Base to the Vietnam War. While a member of the Air Force, he also received numerous citations for various services. He was honorably discharged in December of 1967. He was then employed at Coors Brewery in Golden until he was forced to resign after developing asthma which rendered him allergic to the hops. He and his family the moved to Sterling, where he worked for Evans Railcar until its plant closed. In December of 1987, he went to work at Wisdom Manufacturing where he worked in purchasing and selling until his death. He loved his work.

Visitation will be from 4 pm to 6:30 pm Tuesday, April 12 at Tennant Funeral Home in Sterling, Colorado. Vigil and Rosary evening service will follow at 7 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 13 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church with Father Michael Bodzioch celebrating.
  Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 4/11/2016

Tim Murphy Passes
We regret to inform you of the passing of Tim Murphy. 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Monday March 21
9:00 visitation followed by service at
St. Augustine Church  
1910 West Belle St.
Belleville, IL 62226

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/15/2016

Wade Shows & Wood Entertainment Partner on North America's Largest Portable Giant Wheel

Frank Zaitshik's Wade Shows and Michael Wood's Wood Entertainment announced today that they have formed a partnership in the purchase of North America's Largest Portable Giant Wheel.  The Giant Wheel will be built by Lamberink of the Netherlands and is slated for a 2017 delivery date.  The Wheel will stand at 45 meters tall, one meter taller than the La Grande Wheel owned by Ray Cammack Shows.  "This will be the most innovative and exciting attraction purchased by a North American show" said Zaitshik.

The new wheel will play a combination of independent fairs as well as portions of the Wade Shows route.

Please keep posted to for additional coverage on this spectacular purchase.  
  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/1/2016

Brandon Concessions announces new CEO
Following the passing of company founder, Barry Brandon, Brandon Concessions announced that Alex Brandon, son of Barry Brandon, will be taking over as the company's CEO.  Brandon Concessions has over 43 years experience operating carnival games at events of all sizes including eight of the ranked Top 50 Fairs.  The company currently operates over 25 concessions and has plans to increase that number in the near future.  Brandon Concessions prides itself on providing a first class experience with the best customer service in the business.

"You will instantly recognize the utmost importance of professionalism within our company," commented Alex Brandon about the concession business's mission.   "Brandon Concessions goes above and beyond the expectations of our guests and fair partners to provide an experience that truly sets us apart."

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/24/2016

Mendel Kaliff passes
Mendel Kaliff, co-founder of Kaliff Insurance, passed away on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. 

Born 1924 in San Antonio, Texas Ceased to exist February 16, 2016. Parents, Cecelia Solomon Kaliff, operatic vocalist and Morris H. Kaliff, mounted artillery soldier in WW I and career insurance broker for 50 years. Kaliff was an alumnus of Texas Military Institute and the University of Texas. In WW II was commissioned 2nd Lt US Army at age 18, Parachute Infantry, assigned to Office of Strategic Service (OSS), served behind enemy lines in North Burma with indigenous people, Kachins. After the war he joined his father's insurance business which was established in 1917 and became one of the nation's leading producers of insurance for the Outdoor Amusement Business. Served a brief tour of duty with the CIA during the Korean War and was separated as a Major. Retired from insurance business in 2000 and business is now owned by son, Mitchell H. Kaliff.

A reception in celebration of Mickey's life will be held at the Kaliff Building, 2009 NW Military Hwy., San Antonio, Texas 78213 on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm until 4:30 pm. 
  Posted by MCW / Obiturary on 2/22/2016

Greater Ohio Showmens Association recognized for over 65 years of service
Under the sponsorship of Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger and Representatives Jim Buchy and Scott K. Ryan, the 131st General Assembly of the State of Ohio, House of Representatives formally recognized the Greater Ohio Showmen's Association on the occasion of the organizations 65th anniversary.  

The Greater Ohio Showmen's Association is a non-profit organization, the members of which are dedicated to improvement and perpetuation of the outdoor amusement business in the State of Ohio. At 450 members strong, the G.O.S.A works to guide, assist, and cooperate with groups responsible for fairs, festivals, and special events throughout the state. 

The proclamation reads, in part, the following: "Throughout the last six and a half decades, the G.O.S.A. has attained a remarkable record of service.  Since its inception, the Greater Ohio Showmen's Association has enhanced the quality of life in our society, and its generous contributions have earned it the gratitude and respect of many."

For more information, contact the G.O.S.A. at
  Posted by GOSA PR on 2/22/2016

Michael Sandlofer Passes
Carnivalwarehouse just received word of the passing of Michael Sandlofer after a long battle with cancer. Sandlofer was a pioneering entertainer in the outdoor amusement business, operating a not for profit circus, Frontier Show and numerous animal shows.

Sandlofer was a veteran and proud patriot as well as a devoted animal conservationist. Michael and his wife Sharon have the only travleing wolf exhibit in the United States.

We will post details as we get them but please keep the Sandlofer family in your thoughts and prayers.

  Posted by Ron Weber, Editor on 2/9/2016

OABA releases new ride safety video
The Outdoor Amusement Business Association released a new safety video earlier this month.  The purpose of the video is to help educate the general public about a safe visit to the carnival and carnivals, fairs, and events are urged to share the video on their web sites and social media.  Amber Swedgan, chair of the OABA Safety Education Committee, produced the video in-conjunction with the Ray Cammack Shows Christian Academy this past fall. 

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/25/2016

New Equipment Purchases for Illinois Shows
Several Illinois based carnivals revealed new equipment purchases during the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs trade show this past weekend.  

Missouri based Tinsley Amusements announced the purchase of a Charlie the Chopper from Majestic; American Banner purchased a Ali Baba from A.RM., Fantasy Amusements purchased a fun house from Owen Trailers, and All Around Amusements purchased a Kolmax Flying Elephant ride and a Wacky Shack from Owen Trailers.

Kolmax, a ride manufacturer based out of the  Czech Republic, will be displaying All Around's new Elephant ride at the upcoming Gibtown Trade Show and Extravaganza.  Jeremy Floyd will also be taking delivery of the same piece, with his debuting at the Florida State Fair booked with Wade Shows.   While not attending the IAAF Trade Show, Illinois based Windy City Amusements and Modern Midways both announced the purchase of Vertigos from ARM with both shows set to take delivery this spring.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/18/2016

Dreamland Amusements to debut new Technical Park Giant Wheel at FL State Fair
Dreamland Amusements is slated to debut its new "Dream Wheel", built by Italian manufacturer Technical Park, at the Florida State Fair with Wade Shows this February.  The Dream Wheel stands 22 meters (72ft) tall and is equipped with a advanced LED light show.  The wheel is the first of its kind to have LED back-lit gondolas which have the ability to be synchronized to music.  The wheel racks on one semi trailer.  The Dream Wheel is the first of two Technical Park 22m Giant Wheels coming to the USA; the second of which belongs to Strates Shows who will be taking delivery this spring.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/15/2016

Classifieds Maintenance
Over the last few days, the self post classified ad section on was down for maintenance resulting from a recent hardware upgrade.  As of January 11, 2016 - the self post classified system is back up and running.  Click here to access the classifieds.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 1/11/2016

Vote for the Top Stories of 2015
Each year, we ask our readers to choose the top stories of the year.  2015 was a very exciting year with many possibilities to choose from.

We narrowed down the list to three stories for two categories:  Carnival and Fairs.

Please look over the stories and cast your votes now for the top stories of 2015:

Vote Your Favorite Carnival Story of 2015:
NAME Acquisition Begins New Chapter for Fair Industry
Revenue up for Wade at Florida State Fair
Reithoffer signs new 4-year deal with Expo New Mexico
Poll Maker

Vote for Your Favorite Fair Story of 2015
IAFE Leaving Las Vegas
personality quizzes
  Posted by Ron Weber on 1/1/2016

Windy City Amusements to hold Carnival Auction on December 22 (UPDATED)
Chicago based Windy City Amusements will be holding a public auction to sell off surplus equipment on December 22 at its Aurora, IL based winter quarters.  Items include two Roller Derby group games, a Machine Gun game, a fleet of trucks, generators, concession supplies, arcade games, and much more.  ADDED 12/17 - A Venture Granny Bug, Funni Frite Fireman Fun House, Three trailer mounted Hampton Umbrella Rides, 3 roll off center joints, basketball stick joint, and more.

Bid online or onsite - for more information, CLICK HERE.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 12/18/2015

KMG / Big Rock Amusements settle intellectual property lawsuit
Due to a legal dispute, regarding intellectual property rights for the KMG 'Freak Out' amusement ride, KMG and Big Rock Amusements have entered into a 'Settlement Agreement'.   Therefor KMG would like to inform the US carnival and park industry about the following 'Joint Statement':

KMG International, BV ("KMG") and Big Rock Amusements, LLC ("Big Rock") have entered into a Settlement Agreement in connection with KMG's intellectual property lawsuit against Big Rock.  KMG's suit alleged that Big Rock's Extreme ride was similar in design and appearance to KMG's Freak Out ride. Without admitting liability, Big Rock agreed to the entry of an injunction, and payment of a patent licensing fee to KMG, for the purpose of avoiding further expenses and uncertainties of litigation.
The financial terms of the Settlement Agreement are confidential.  However, as a matter of public record, the amicable resolution required the entry of a U.S. federal court injunction precluding Big Rock from importing any additional Extreme rides into the United States.

For further information please feel free to contact KMG sales representative Mr. Peter Theunisz (tel.: +31-655795792 / email:

  Posted by KMG Press Release on 12/16/2015

Tony Fiori Farewell Tour
Ray Cammack Shows would like to invite friends, family, and acquaintances to celebrate the life of Tony Fiori.  Join RCS on Wednesday December 9, 2015 at 11am at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA.

Orange County Fairgrounds
Hangar Building
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tony's name by clicking here (select TonyGre)

  Posted by RCS/Matt Cook on 12/2/2015

Ray Cammack Shows Tony Fiori passes
Tony Fiori, V.P./Media and Marketing for Ray Cammack Shows, passed away over the weekend.  Tony had worked for RCS for over 30 years and was a great friend to many in the industry.  As additional details are available on services, they will be posted here.  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/23/2015

Henry Poluffe of Specialty Insurance passes
Henry Leonard Plouffe, 84, chief financial officer of Specialty Insurance, LTD., entered into eternal rest on October 26, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.  He was the beloved husband of 62 years of Mary Bergin Plouffe.  Together they had five children: Kathryn Dumas, Jeanne (Robert) Prota, Thomas Plouffe, Michael (Kyle) Plouffe and Maryann (James) Laspino.

Henry was a graduate of Fairfield Preparatory School and served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict.  His banking career began as a teller at Tradesmen's Bank, New Haven.  In 1975 he retired from the former Orange National Bank as a vice president.

From 1975 until his second retirement, in 2005, Henry was employed by the City of West Haven as a 911 operator.  In addition, he served as both a paid and volunteer firefighter for the City of West Haven and its' Allingtown Fire district for 65 years, commencing in 1953.  From 1979 until 1985, he held the position of chief of the volunteers.

Until his retirement and illness just two weeks ago, Henry was the chief financial officer for Specialty Insurance, LTD. He was a coach, for many years, in the West Haven Midget Football League.  As a devoted member of the Church of St. Louis, he held the position of senior trustee.  In 2010, he was awarded the St. Joseph's Medal of Appreciation, presented by the Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford.
  Posted by Obiturary on 11/3/2015

Rides 4-U to Introduce New Rides at IAAPA

Len Soled's New Jersey based Rides 4-U is planning on introducing two new attractions at the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando.  Rides 4-U will have two large booth spaces - one indoors and another outdoors.  They will be showcasing a new interactive family ride produced by Italian manufacturer, SBF/Visa.  The new ride will feature cars that pivot on the end of the rides sweeps and riders will be able to shoot at targets on the cars and keep score.  Another new attraction that will debut at the trade show includes a triple spiral roller coaster that will be showcased at the company's indoor display.  Other equipment slated to be at the Rides 4-U booth at IAAPA include a Compact Spinning Coaster, being delivered to Fiesta Shows of New England; a Frog Hopper to Stweart's Amusements; a Groovy Bus to Browns Amusements; and the Drop N Twist drop tower.

Soled also announced the delivery of Skerbeck Entertainment Group's KMG Inversion this week.  The piece will debut at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport with Crabtree Amusements.

The 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo will take place November 17-20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/26/2015

Bingo Hauser Passes
MCW has learned that Canada's West Coast Amusements founder, Bingo Hauser, has passed.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hauser family.  As more information comes available, we will post it here.

In 2012, we conducted a video interview with Bingo as a part of our "Four Questions with Industry Pioneers" feature.  That interview can be seen by clicking here.
  Posted by MCW on 9/14/2015

Ray Cammack Shows buys Dutch Lamberink Gondola Wheel

Ray Cammack Show's Guy Leavitt and Ben Pickett announced the purchase of a new Gondola Wheel, built by Lamberink BV of the Netherlands and sold through Peter Theunisz's Used Rides Europe.  The wheel stands 108 ft tall and has 24 gondolas capable of seating up to six adults.  The ride has a LED color changing lighting package, galvanized sub-frame, stainless steel fencing, electric motors, PILZ safety system and Emmerson frequency drive units. What is so unique about this wheel is that it can be set up without the use of a crane and moves on only 3 semi-trailers!  Cosmetically, the wheel will have a white color scheme and will feature a RCS logo on the axle hub.

The wheel will be delivered in December and shipped to Galveston, TX. The wheel will have a large sign on the axle with the RCS logo on it.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/9/2015

Reithoffer Shows debuts new Galaxy Coaster in NM State Fair

Reithoffer Shows announced the debut of their new Galaxy roller coaster at the New Mexico State Fair, opening September 10.  The Galaxy was built by Interpark of Italy, whom acquired the ever popular Pinfari coaster models.  The Galaxy has the same track layout as a Pinfari Zyklon and travels on three trailers.  After the New Mexico State Fair, the coaster will play the Georgia National Fair and will travel primarily on the blue unit.  Last week, the show debuted a new Wisdom Himalaya themed the Music Express at Riot Fest in Denver, CO.

Reithoffer's coaster purchase marks the fourth new coaster purchased from Interpark by a North American carnival in the past year.  Last year, Ray Cammack Shows purchased a "Zyklon" model coaster, and this year three more were sold to Playworld Amusements, Wade Shows, and Reithoffer Shows.
  Posted by Matt Cook on 9/4/2015

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