Middletown -- After 40 years with Amusements Of America, the Orange County Fair in Middletown, NY has elected to sign Strates Shows to provide the midway for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Orange County Fairs. "Strates made an excellent presentation to us for the contract", said Mike Gurda IV, Orange County Fair manager. "They had a great financial package, proposed new rides and equipment and offered assistance with promotions and marketing", he added.
Gurda is the third generation in his family to run the fair, beginning with his grandfather who died in 1994 and his father, Mike Gurda III, who passed the reigns of the fair on to his son 5 years ago. "It was a difficult decision for me and the fair because we have had a long, successful relationship with the Vivona family. They are very nice people and I have the greatest respect
for them", said Gurda.
Plans are underway for several grounds improvements for the 2007 fair including blacktop and building improvements and fixing the lights from the World's Fair that the fair owns. "We want to enhance the general appearance of the fair. Coupled with the new carnival, we hope to generate a lot of excitement about the fair from our customers", said Gurda.
2006 was difficult year for the fair because of rain on more than half the days, including the key Saturdays and Sundays. One bright spot was the carload promotion, introduced this year, which yielded the largest ever Monday attendance. For $40 a carload, up to 10 people per car received parking, admission and rides from 6p - 11pm. The fair hopes to build on this concept and add additional promotions for the 2007 fair.
John Strates, Director of Operations for Strates Shows, said the show was happy to have the fair on their route. "It's a great fit for us going into the Erie County Fair in Hamburg and coming out of Danbury, CT and we are looking forward to working with Mike Gurda and his staff to build the fair ", said Strates, "It's an exciting opportunity for us".