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ROBESON COUNTY FAIR SIGNS WADE SHOWS
Wade reports record fall run
By Ron Weber, Editor
Lumberton, NC -- The Robeson County Fair announced they have agreed to a three-year contract with Wade Shows, Inc. to provide the midway for the annual fair. "We are excited about this wonderful change", said Coble WIlson, Jr., President Emeritus of the fair. "Frank (Zaitshik) is a great fair operator.
The fair has been played for many years by J&J Amusements and Wilson said they were proud of their association with the company. "J&J did a good job for us but with Wade Shows were are moving a step up". Wade Shows will be playing the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh just after the Robeson County Fair so the fair will be able to receive some of the equipment headed to one of the nation's largest events.
The dates for the 2011 fair will be Sept. 30 - Oct. 8, with a Friday opening. The fair moved opening day in order to give Wade Shows enough time to move equipment in from Oklahoma City. Wade will be bringing a minimum of 35 rides for the event including their Mega Drop, Fireball and Giant Wheel.
Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows was equally excited about working with the fair for their 65th anniversary. "The Robeson County Fair is one of the best county fairs in the state and it will give us an excellent opportunity to come to North Carolina and get through our initial inspection", said Zaitshik. "We are looking forward to working with them".
The Robeson County Fair had an excellent year in 2010, according to Wilson. The fair was up about 12%. Gate prices were raised slightly to $6 for adults and individual ride tickets were offered for $1 and wristbands for $20. An advance sale ticket package for gate admission and a wristband could be purchased for $20.
The Robeson County Fair, selected eight times as the top fair in its category in North Carolina, made some substantial improvements to the grounds in 2010. They completed their grandstand with new bleachers at a cost of $300,000. The site now seats 3,500 people and can be expanded with additional seating to bring in even more guests. The larger grandstand will expand the options for entertainment at the fair.
Wade Shows, for their part, were coming off a record fall season with unprecedented runs at the Alabama State Fair, the Oklahoma State Fair, the North Carolina State Fair, the Alabama National Fair, the South Mississippi Fair, the Coosa Valley Fair, the Tennessee Valley Fair and the Middle Tennessee District Fair. A near record year was had at the North Alabama State Fair.
"Going into September revenue was lagging and expenses were up but thanks to a record fall run, we pulled out a great year", said Zaitshik.
Zaitshik was especially proud of the record run at the Tennessee Valley Fair where manager Larry Suchomski was called out of retirement to fill in for his son Scott who was serving in the military in Afghanistan. "When we finished at the fair, I thought were close to a record year but after reviewing the records with Larry, we were up by over $30,000 from our best previous year", said Zaitshik. "Congratulations to Larry and thanks to Scott for his service", he added