RALEIGH - Powers Great American Midways will operate the carnival rides and games at the 2008 N.C. State Fair, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.
Troxler said that Powers' performance at this year's State Fair, plus the financial benefit to the state, contributed to the decision to sign a contract with the Pender County-based company for 2008. State regulations allow the State Fair to enter into a one-year contract with a carnival company without taking bids.
"This year, Powers operated the largest midway we've ever had at the State Fair - 113 rides - and they did it safely while accommodating a record crowd of almost 859,000 people," Troxler said. "Powers is a well-run family business that has demonstrated the ability to meet our high expectations, and the financial terms of the contract have been v
ery good for the state."
Powers will pay the state $5.50 for each person who buys an admission ticket to the 2008 State Fair, the same base rate as this year. The contract will again include a provision that allows Powers to lower its payment 20 cents per person by bringing in two rides that are not older than 24 months and have never played the N.C. State Fair before. This year, Powers qualified for the discount by bringing in "Lucky Lizzie" and "G-Force."
Powers paid the State Fair $4 million this year.
Since 2003, the amount the carnival pays the State Fair has been based on paid attendance instead of a percentage of ride receipts. Because of that change, in recent years the fair's revenues from the midway have been generous by industry standards.
A change in the 2008 contract could benefit fairgoers. The State Fair will be able to sell a greater number of advance ride tickets at a discount. The limit will be 350,000, up 25,000 from this year. The increased inventory will give more people the opportunity to take advantage of pre-fair savings, Troxler said. Ride sheets containing 18 tickets will sell for $10 in advance and $18 after the fair begins. Advance tickets will go on sale in September.
The 2008 State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 17-26.