Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment began 3 years ago when Ed Powers and Ron (RD) Thomas branched out from their family operations to form their own carnival company. They bought out Bill and Patty Swank's Steel City Shows out of Pennsylvania to get started. Now, RD and his wife, Tracy, run the show alongside Ed and Amy Powers. They are supported by Gaye Campbell (office manager), Charlie Belknap (marketing, media, and PR manager), and Jeremy Thomas (concession manager).
Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment has grown into 24 rides, 5 food stands: a grab, an ice cream trailer, a popper, a pizza, and a fried dough, as well as several games owned by Jeremy Thomas.
According to Media and Marketing Manager, Charlie Belknap, Powers and Thomas started the season by refurbish
ing 5 rides from bottom to top at their winter quarters in Hollyridge, North Carolina. The High Flyer, Granny Bugs, Sizzler, Scooper Jet, and Zumur are all looking good as new. Powers and Thomas also purchased a new Chance 3-abreast carousel and a Hitch-Hiker Ice Cream trailer. In addition to providing new and refurbished rides at their events, Powers and Thomas have also decided to focus on guest amenities this season; "We also purchased new privacy screening and umbrella tops with LED lights for seating areas for our guests," says Belknap.
According to Belknap, Powers and Thomas have had great success during their 2017 season so far; "The Spring started out great but then we hit some bad weather, just like everyone else in the industry, we had to deal with," says Belknap. However, other than fighting some not so great weather, the show has had smooth sailing. "We have been getting a lot of great compliments on our show so far this season and we were extremely blessed to get our H2B labor. I know other shows weren't as fortunate so we're feeling very lucky," says Belknap.
Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment brings a modern focus to the outdoor amusement industry. Powers and Thomas include iPad cash systems, custom designed food concessions, and advanced rides on their show. Belknap also uses social media and digital marketing strategies to connect with customers and advertise the show's route. "I've realized that through social media and digital marketing you can reach more people. I think the days of posters and newspapers are going to the wayside. They definitely still have their place for some events and locations but I think digital marketing is the way to go," says Belknap.
The Powers and Thomas Facebook page is constantly updated with information about the show such as new rides or equipment, and the route the show is following. "Our other big advertising and marketing focus is our website. We always make sure our website is updated with the latest information so that it is accessible to customers and potential event partners," says Belknap.
Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment just left Ridgeway, Pennsylvania and are now setting up in Bedford, Pennsylvania for the Bedford County Fair. After Bedford the show heads to the Tyler County Fair in West Virginia then back to Pennsylvania for the Washington County Fair, the Somerset County Fair, and the Stonesboro County Fair before heading down to North Carolina for the Surry County Fair and the Rowan County Fair. Then, they head even further south for the Sumter County Fair in South Carolina. Lastly, they finish out their 2017 route in North Carolina at the Vance County Fair and then the Haw River event before heading to winter quarters.
Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment travels as one unit along its route. Their ride list includes 9 thrill rides, 8 family rides, and 7 kiddie rides to accommodate guests of all ages and sizes.
The staff at Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment look forward to the rest of a successful 2017 season. With a combination of dedicated staff, a strong ride list, and a great route, Powers and Thomas is focusing on improving their show year after year.
New for 2017 - Chance 3 Abreast Carousel
Ed Powers & Ron Thomas (left to right)
New Privacy Screens