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IISF TRADE SHOW OFF TO A WET START
Soccer jerseys featured in BSR joints

2/10/2010

By Ron Weber

Rides 4U - NEW AND USED RIDES Farrow Finance Rides 4U - LED LIGHTING PACKAGES Farrow Finance

Gibsonton, FL - The IISF Trade Show opened today but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate for the outdoor vendors.  The rain came at noon and never let up until closing time at 5pm.  What was a bust for the outdoor vendors was a boon for the bar and indoor activities.

Inside the trade show, Dennis Gilli, who has painted rides and equipment for numerous shows over the years, told stories of his experiences during the past year.  Gilli was recently in West Palm Beach where he was touching up the photo opportunity boards for Wade Shows and painted their kiddie circus train. In 2009, he painted their Mardi Gras funhouse.

Long time showman Ray Sanford had a booth at the fair where he is selling his book, "Roll Towards the Wagon".  The book is a "G" rated version of his memories in the business from his birth until his 30's.

While Sanford was in a walker for a year and not able to sit still, he decided to write about his life in the business with all the laughter and tears included.   
Sanford started in the business in 1938 with his father playing the southern tier of NY.  The family had a live ring-a-duck game, starting with 5 ducks.  At the end of the season, Sanford said, they had five duck dinners for the family.

Sanford worked with Reithoffer Shows, B&C Shows and Buffalo Shows with Howard Potter.  He was a big fan of King Reid Shows who he said was a real innovator.  Reid pioneered the uniform canvas colors and he made a deal with Ford Motor Company whereby he received a free truck each year by putting "Ford moves our show" on his posters.  Reid was an assemblyman from Vermont.

Sanford owned Zable Shows for over 30 years with approximately 15 rides playing in NY and PA.  He played the New York State Fair for many years as well as Firemen's celebrations and festivals. 

Today, Sanford keeps busy booking in FL for Modern Midways, Lisko Amusements and he worked for several years for Tolve Presentations in their Florida winterquarters.

Wayne and Tommy Berra also remembered days gone by.  Hailing from Petersburg, Virginia, they lived across the street from the Cetlin and Wilson winterquarters.  Tommy even delivered newspapers to Izzy Cetlin on the show grounds.  The brothers worked for C&W for a year or so around 1958 before Tommy went with Penn Premier Shows for a two years, working a grab joint, apple stand and bingo for Al D'Orso.   In 1962 Tommy joined the army.  When he got out in 1968 he took a job with the Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C.  Tommy worked there for 38 years, becoming the Technical Director.  He retired 5 years ago and now resides in Nag's Head, NC.

Brother Wayne took a different path.  He began working on rides with Amusements Of America, working on Babe Vivona's unit as his chief ride supervisor.  He then left to take a job with Gooding's Million Dollar Midways under Milt Kaufman where he stayed for 15 or 16 years. In the late 1990's he returned to Amusements of America again.  An offer from Jerry Murphy took him to China for two years where he helped launch Murphy's overseas operation.  At the conclusion of his tour in China, Berra retired.  Not one to settle down however, he has recently been entertaining offers to work on the road again but he has not decided yet what he will be doing in 2010.
Out on the grounds, KMG's Nemesis 360 was getting a lot of attention.  The ride takes 3 people about 3 hours to set up.  PBJ Happee Days is the owner of the ride here at the show and a second ride has been sold to Mike Demas of Demas Enterprises.  A third deal is rumored to be near closing.

Another much anticipated debut was Fredricksen's Ice Slide.  The slide does not have the traditional bumps of a regular slide and the LED lighting package will be unveiled on Friday evening.  Corky Power's Great American Midways had their Mulligan Wheel on display completely equipped with LED lights, sold by Rides-4U.  Rides-4U has sold several LED light packages over the past 12 months to amusement parks and carnivals.  Some carnival installs include Reithoffer Shows' Giant Wheel, PBJ Happee Day Shows' Giant Wheel, Butler Amusements' Giant Wheel, and Blue Sky Amusements' ARM Riptide.

Jersey Shore Import had their World Cup Soccer Jerseys stocked in a Bob's Space Racer Whopper Water Game.  Ed Bush of Jersey Shore said the soccer jerseys were very hot this year with the world cup approaching and he expected brisk sales for the item.

Bob's Space Racers had several trailer mounted games on display.  A popular new product from BSR is a duck pond which has a built in computerized inventory system to help keep track of stock.  When a child picks a duck, they scan the ducks bottom in which a LCD computer screen reveals the size of the prize.

Tommy Coffing was promoting the U-Toob funhouse built by Patrick Boyle.  Boyle has produced other similar type projects such as the MTV Funhouse.

The MCW booth was busy with many readers stopping by to visit.  There are plenty of new rides and equipments to highlight in the coming days so stay tuned for more exclusive information and reports.


2010 IISF Trade Show
New Ice Slide
2010 IISF Trade Show
Len Soled shows off the new KMG Inversion, themed Nemesis 360.
2010 IISF Trade Show
Len Soled shows off the new KMG Inversion, themed Nemesis 360.
2010 IISF Trade Show
New BSR Computerized Duck Pond Game
2010 IISF Trade Show
New Wisdom Truck Kid Ride
2010 IISF Trade Show
Popular new Hot Dog plush from Kelly Toy


MORE photos from the 2010 trade show are available in the MCW Photo Gallery

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