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New England Fair Round-Up #2
Fanelli, Fiesta, Rockwell, Coleman and Bourget
By Dan McGinnis
BOURGET AMUSEMENTS AT WILIMINGTON
Bourget Amusements was started 15 years ago by owner Joe Bourget. Joe had spent many years as an independent ride operator prior to starting the show.
Bourget Amusements fields a combination of 15 major and kidde rides along with 3-5 food concessions and 7-10 games depending on the event's size and space availability. The show has steadily grown over the years, adding new equipment and even some larger rides such as a Himalaya and a Zipper.
The show's season runs from the 2nd week in April until early October. States covered on the route include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
MCW visited Bourget Amusements at the Wilmington, Vermont Fair August 23-26. Unfortunately, the event was marred by a severe thunderstorm Saturday which left the midway flooded. These conditions required the show to take down several rides for safety purposes.
Show owned rides are: Eli Wheel, M.G.R., Castlemania, Roundup, Swinger, Crazy Bus, Scrambler, Train Station, Zipper, Slide, Star Jet, Dark Ride, Himalaya, Scooter and Tilt.
Bourget said the show has done well this season when weather has cooperated . The show's goal is to continue to grow and provide a quality carnival to the northern New England States.
COLEMAN BROS SHOWS - CHENANGO COUNTY FAIR
Coleman Bros Shows of Middletown, Connecticut provided the midway for the Chenango County Fair in Norwich , New York. When MCW visited the show on August 12th, lines for the wristband special were long and weather looked excellent. Show personnel were dressed in uniforms and the show looked very good on the lot.
Tim Coleman reported that business for the show has been good when the weather held. Like many show owners, Coleman is very concerned about rising fuel prices. Coleman said the cost of moving the show has doubled and they were looking for ways to hold costs down. A second area of concern for Coleman is the cost of insurance. He said all types of insurance have risen and combined with fuel costs, it has had an adverse effect on the bottom line.
The fair in Norwich featured 23 rides: Thunderbolt, Ali Baba, Century Wheel, Ring of Fire, Merry-go- Round, Round Up, Sizzler, Tilt, Yo-Yo, Zipper, Bumper Boats, Hampton, Combo, Pumpkin Patch, Elephant Bounce, Tiger Bounce, Train, Scooter, Slide, Dragon Wagon, Winky the Whale, Gravitron, Raiders and Funhouse.
Coleman Shows will be joining again with Castlerock Shows for the Vermont State Fair in Rutland, Vermont State August 31st through September 9th.
FIESTA SHOWS UNIT AT CHESHIRE, N.H. FAIR
Fiesta Shows, one of the largest New England carnival companies, enjoyed excellent business at the Cheshire, New Hampshire Fair July 31st through August 5th.
Visited on Sunday August 5th the midway was filled with rides , games and food concessions that seemed to be doing excellent business. There were 22 rides on this unit of Fiesta Shows. They were: Apollo, Pharaoh's Fury, Gravitron, Flying Bobs, Zipper, Cliff Hanger, Tornado, Surfer, Castle of Evil, Street Racer, Eli Wheel, Crazy Bus, Merry-go-round, Scooter, Dragon Wagon, Tilt, Aeromax, Vortex, Dizzy Dragon, Slide, Bounce and Playfest
A big draw Sunday was the Demolition Derby with long lines waiting to purchase tickets. As we were leaving, traffic was backed up 2 miles to enter the fair. The demolition derby seems to be a major attraction at all the fairs we have visited this year.
ROCKWELL AMUSEMENTS UNIT AT NORTHAMPTON
For over 30 years, owner Harold Fera has supplied rides, games and food stands to fairs, churches, fireman celebrations, civic organizations and shopping centers in the New England States. "Family fun for everyone" is the show's slogan, with the aim to provide the cleanest and most thrilling carnivals for their customers.
MCW visited Rockwell at the 182nd Three County Fair in Northampton , Massachusetts held August 31st through Labor Day. The fair featured a 16 ride unit of Rockwell Amusements. Blessed with great weather the show did well. This year, like most shows, business has been like a roller coaster ride, up and down because of weather.
Two brand new Gull Wing power plants with light towers were here as were 10 games units and a like number of food concessions. Also new this year were the Street Fighter (Fly Surf) and Wacky Worm Coaster.
The ride lineup was: Century Wheel, Zipper, Tornado, 1001 Nights, Starship, Round Up, Fly Surf, Swinger, Bungy Jump, Umbrella Car Ride, Rio Grande Train, Slide, Cycles, Castlemania, Dizzy Dragons and Dragon Wagon.
After the season in the northeast, the show heads south and plays Orangeburg, SC and Whiteville, NC. They will carry 25 rides in the fall including the Zyklon coaster purchased last season.
MARK FANELLI'S TRAVELING AMUSEMENT PARK
The annual Dalton Community Fair held June 6-10th in Dalton , Massachusetts featured Mark Fanelli's Traveling Amusement Park. Set up at the beautiful Dalton American Legion Field on Route 9, the weather enabled the show to have a great run. Last year, heavy rains cut into ride grosses.
This is a unique fair that features community booths on one side of the midway and show concessions on the other side. Community booths featured casinos (Lions Club), fried dough, ice cream, hot dogs and hamburgers (Fire Dept.) Beer Booth (Legion) , community center face painting booth, speed ball and nacho booth. For the community organizations the fair is a major fund raising event.
The ride line up was: Scooter, Merry-go-round, Scrambler, Giant Wheel, Pharaoh's Fury, Combo, Zipper, Yo -Yo, Slide, Dizzy Dragon, Train Station, Pumpkin Patch, Cliff hanger, Helicopter and Dragon Wagon.
The show plays many still dates, fairs and festivals in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. It will return to the Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro, Massachusetts for Regal Cinemas August 23rd to 26th.