Bill and Patty Swank announced that their Pittsburgh based carnival, Swank's Steel City Shows, Inc., and their route is being acquired by Ed and Amy Powers and Ron and Tracy Thomas, in a move that all three couples are touting as a win. "We have been talking together with Powers & Thomas about this for almost three years," Bill Swank said. It all came together this fall, and the timing is right for this move."
The two will form a new company, Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment. In additional to the existing Swank equipment, Powers & Thomas will supplement the show with their own equipment including a Pharaoh's Fury, Swing Buggy, Quadzilla, and more.
Swank's carnival has been operating in western Pennsylvania since 1975. The Swanks don't come from a carnival family background. "We built our show from the first piece of wire," Bill said, "and for sure I'm going to miss it-especially all the people we've come to know and work with during our season. I love the carnival business. I've enjoyed watching the industry evolve during these many years, and meeting all the challenges as they came along. But after 40 years on the road, Patty and I are looking forward to some new adventures."
"My children are all settled in their own careers outside of the carnival business, and my grandchildren are finishing college. With no family ready to step in and take over, we welcome this opportunity to sell our show. Ed and Amy Powers and Ron and Tracy Thomas have years of collective experience in the business," Swank added. "I know that none of the western Pennsylvania fairs and festivals on our route will miss a beat with the new owners. Powers & Thomas will continue the tradition of a professional operation with quality equipment."
"People keeping asking me, 'What are you going to do now?'" Swank said. "I'm not exactly sure, but I'm open to everything. "And let's face it," he said, "nothing lasts forever. Maybe the first thing we'll do is go to the beach in August!"