The votes are in for our first Stories of The Year and the winners are:
Fair Story: Troy Waffner: Interim Fair Manager Makes Lasting Change
Carnival Story: After 72 Years, New York State Fair Switches Midways
On the fair side, Waffner had a tremendous year, bringing new promotions and life to the NY State Fair. Carnivalwarehouse's Tim Herrick reports that the fair had two all-time record days, both coming the final weekend. The institution of a $1 Day -- where rides, admission and selected food items were just $1 all day long -- turned a traditionally so-so day into an all-time record day. Read the full article (click here)
Other important stories for 2014 included second place finisher "Good Weather and New Changes: Wisconsin State Fair Has Record Attendance". Manager Rick Frenette and his team have been on a steady growth spurt over the years, adding the new independent Spin City coordinated by Adam Heffron and realizing some record years. The fair has also successfully navigated challenges. It was one of the first to require children to be accompanied by adults at night after a night a trouble.
Jerome Hoban's success at the Alameda County Fair was also a big story. Hoban came from the Orange County Fair and implemented big changes including the Action Zone and a new midway layout, increasing spending and lengthening stays at the event.
Finally, the Oregon State Fair made news when the State transferred the fair to a public corporation
There was also plenty of carnival news in 2014. Wade Shows' award of the New York State Fair led the voting. The were the first new carnival at the fair in over 70 years and set ride revenue records. The change was a story that doesn't come along every day in the industry and our voters noted and commented on the story's significance. To read the full story, click here.
Wade Shows had a second story on the top list in 2014, securing the contract to produce a "hybrid midway" at the Florida State Fair in 2015. The Florida State Fair formerly had an independent midway and elected to use Wade Shows to assist in midway operations.
The second highest vote getting carnival story in 2014 was the story on the passing of industry veteran Jeff Pugh. TIm Herrick's story captured Pugh's accomplishments through the eyes of friends, family and industry leaders. He had a significant impact on the industry and many mourned his death at a young age.
Another interesting story in 2014 came from Alaska of all places. Golden Wheel Amusements, who had for many years, been the only major operator in the state, faced some competition from Canada when A-1 Amusements signed several fairs. Golden Wheel in turn started their own event close to one of the their former fairs.
NAME also made big news when it signed the Western Fair in Ontario. Our story entitled: Fearing Carnival Consolidation, Canada's Western Fair Inks 10-Year Deal with NAME, chronicled that event. The Western Fair has been an independent event for many year, one of the first to actually operate under that format. The fair moving to a carnival is the second one for 2015. Will it be a trend?
Finally, Miller's Spectacular Shows moved into a new territory, Kentucky, when Myers International Midways went of the road in 2014, leaving many Kentucky Fairs without a carnival. After an initial crisis, many of the fairs elected to sign with Miller.
2014 was a great year for news and in 2015 we already had some big news stories with Strates Shows signing the Champlain Valley Exhibition and Marlene Pierson-Joliffe moving from the WV State Fair to take the helm at the Virginia State Fair. Keep reading Carnivalwarehouse.com for more news as it happens.