RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today that Powers Great American Midways would return to operate the carnival rides and games for the 2007 N.C. State Fair. At a news conference at the State Fairgrounds, Troxler said that Powers’ performance at the 2006 State Fair and positive public feedback about this year’s midway contributed to the decision to sign a one-year contract with the Pender County-based company. State regulations allow the State Fair to enter into a one-year contract with a carnival company without taking bids. “Powers has high expectations for their midway and their employees,” Troxler said. “Those expectations showed in the smooth operation of this year’s midway, which had the largest accumulation of rides in North America. It was clean, it was safe, and it was fun. “After consulting with State Fair staff and N.C. Department of Labor officials, I thought it was in the best interests of our fair to offer Powers another contract,” Troxler said. “They are the best fit for our midway in 2007.” Under the contract, Powers will pay the state $5.50 for each person who buys an admission ticket to the 2007 State Fair, the same rate as 2006. As with the 2006 contract, Powers can reduce its payment 20 cents per person by bringing in two rides that are not more than 24 months old and have never been at the N.C. State Fair before. Powers paid the State Fair more than $3.7 million this year. The State Fair switched in 2003 to a midway payment based on paid attendance instead of a percentage of ride receipts. Since then, the amount of the midway payment has been generous by industry standards and has helped fund many of the recent capital improvements on the State Fairgrounds. Projects have included construction of the Exposition Center and the Gov. James G. Martin Building and infrastructure work on the midway. The 2007 State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 12-21. MCW will updtate you with more information regarding the 2007 North Carolina State Fair as it becomes available.