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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
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Big Butler Fair Rises to its Challenges

The Big Butler Fair returned for 2018 from June 29 through July 7 in Prospect, Pennsylvania. Now in its 163rd year, the Big Butler Fair is often known as the largest agricultural fair in Western ......[read more]

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Talley Inks Ohio State Fair with 4-Year Contract

After more than a quarter of a century, one of the leading state fairs in the Midwest has switched carnival companies. Following an extensive Request for Proposal (RFP) that involved some of the ......[read more]

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Bigger, Better Grandstands Boost Iowa State Fair

Is big name entertainment still a viable option for state fairs? A grandstand-filling fair staple for decades, more recently rising costs ranging from musician fees, commissions and improved ......[read more]

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Hermosa Beach Fiesta: Forty Years of Fun by the Beach

The once-sleepy suburban seaside town of HermosaBeach, Calif. has grown and thrived, and so, too has the Hermosa Beach Fiesta, with carnival rides, food booths, arts and crafts, and live music. The ......[read more]

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BREAKING NEWS: Talley Amusements signs The Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fair announced today that they signed a four-year contract with Talley Amusements to provide the rides at the fair begining in 2019. “Talley Amusements is honored to be ......[read more]

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Ohio State Fair Bounces Back After Tragedy with an Honest and Professional PR Campaign

No opening of any 2018 fair was as widely anticipated as that of the Ohio State Fair. Last year, a fatal accident on the Amusements of America midway left an 18-year-old dead and seven others ......[read more]

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OABA President Bob Johnson to Retire in February 2019

Jay Strates, 2018 OABA Chairman announced today that President Bob Johson will retire in February of 2019.  Below is a copy of the official statement from Jay Strates and the OABA.Last month, ......[read more]

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Expanded Marketing Reach Boots Delaware State Fair

The Delaware State Fair turns 100 next year. In addition to promoting this year’s event, marketing the 99th also needed to build momentum towards next year’s centennial fair.Your Summer ......[read more]

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Remembering Morris Vivona, Sr. of Amusements of America

Morris Vivona, Sr., the Chairman of the Board of Amusements of America and the eldest of the company’s five Vivona brothers, passed away Saturday, August 25th at the age of 97. Born October 31, ......[read more]

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Concerts Return to Orange County and So Did Customers
Dreamland Amusements plays Orange County for the first time

Citing rising costs, increased competition from festivals, casinos and other venues, and the diminishing drawing power of many headliners, more and more fairs have been removing separate ticketed ......[read more]

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Jay Strates: The Economy is Stronger this Year
Strates Shows from the Road

At 179, the Erie County Fair in New York may be one of the oldest fair in the country and for the past 94 of those years the James E. Strates Shows has been the fair’s carnival company. The ......[read more]

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Santa Clara County Fair: Something New and Something Old

Attendees at the 74th annual Santa Clara County Fair enjoyed a mix of the old and the new during the fair’s run August 2nd through 5th. According to fair manager and fairgrounds director of ......[read more]

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Weather and Economy Cooperating for NAME's International Unit in Canada

Two of the biggest players on any fair season have favored the Canadian unit of NAME (North American Midway Entertainment) route this summer: Climate and disposable income.“The weatherman and ......[read more]

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Marin County Fair Celebrates Inclusion

Running June 30 through July 4th, the Marin County Fair in San Rafael, Calif., offered the perfect place to celebrate Independence Day weekend. With free music concerts, fine art, carnival rides, and ......[read more]

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Amusements of America Restores Fairgoer Confidence

The pressure was on leading up to the 2018 Ohio State Fair, one of the biggest events of the year for Amusements of America. Last year, an accident on a KMG manufactured Fire Ball left one rider dead ......[read more]

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2018 Salem Free Fair Attendance Down Due to Storms and Early Closing

The Salem Fair, billed asthe largest free gate fair in America, kicked off with a rough start this season. The well-known Virginia fair ran from July 3 through July 15. Opening night was a bit of a ......[read more]

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4th of July Fairs Thrive in California

For over 70 years, the National City Host Lions Club and the town of National City have co-sponsored a fun event for area residents on the 4th of July. Their annual Fourth of July Carnival at the ......[read more]

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Carnival Americana: Constantly Growing
Company reports struggles finding help

The fair season begins in January in Texas for Carnival Americana, and travels the Western region of the U.S., including stops in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota before returning to Texas to ......[read more]

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Remembering Michigan Carnival Operator Terry Schmidt

Terry Schmidt, founder of TJ Schmidt & Company, passed away on July 21, from complications due to Leukemia. One of the leading Michigan-based, families –owned carnival companies, TJ Schmidt ......[read more]

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Ray Cammack Shows: Balancing Improving Economy with Rising Labor Costs

Aside from meteorology, the perennial concern for every fair and their carnival company partners is the economy. Is unemployment down or up in any given area? Do families seem to have more or less ......[read more]

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Napa County Fair: A Throwback to a Traditional Country Fair Experience

The Fair & Fiesta at the Napa County Fairgrounds was a buoyant, throwback experience in 2018. Running May 5 and 6, this year’s fair features included a petting zoo and pony ride; the ......[read more]

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After strong 2017, Midway of Fun Reinvested for 2018

This year started off several challenges for Brass Rings Amusements, a Northern California-based carnival company that operate under the moniker Midway of Fun. Foremost of course was the weather and ......[read more]

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Geofencing & Groupon Boost Attendance for State Fair Meadowlands

More is never enough. When it comes to marketing and promotion, the State Fair Meadowlands in New Jersey did not just increase outreach, but took a more innovative approach. Combined with a more ......[read more]

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Indiana's St. Joseph County 4-H Fair Endures Record Heat

The 93rd annual St. Joseph County Fair ran from June 29 through July 8. The nine-day fair is known for its 4-H involvement. According to the fair website, the fair board strives to foster, encourage ......[read more]

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Shamrock Shows Flows With the Times

Shamrock Shows started in 1989 and is based out of Milton, New York. The carnival services events such as festivals, fireman’s carnivals, church bazaars and fundraisers throughout the Hudson ......[read more]

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Placer County Fairgrounds Gets Makeover; re-named @the Grounds

The 81st annual Placer County Fair took place from June 21 to 24 in Roseville, California, and the 61-acre former fairgrounds have been reborn as simply @the Grounds.The fair had been said to be on ......[read more]

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Overcoming Early Labor Shortfall, Crabtree Amusements now Poised for Magic Year in 2018

For Crabtree Amusements, the first quarter of the year turned into an workforce scramble. His H-2B worker allotment was “capped out” by February and while he was able to receive an ......[read more]

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Merced County Fair Builds on Connections, Attractions, to Keep Fair Thriving

The 127th annual Merced County Fair took place from June 6 to 10 and was said to be a great success.“We had a great run this year, and brought in even more entertainment for the community to ......[read more]

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Revenue Up 25 Percent, California Carnival Company Celebrates 12 Years

The 12th anniversary party for California Carnival Company on July 1st proved to be a trifecta. Reaching the dozen year mark was just one reason to party. The other two reasons were the final payment ......[read more]

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4th of July Fireworks Capped San Diego County Fair

It was an explosive event this summer. The San Diego County Fair, held in Del Mar, Calif. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds hosted 1,609,481visitors to enjoy 1,879 concerts and explore a whopping 4,187 ......[read more]

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Magic Money: Carnival Companies & Fairs Going Cashless with Cellular RFID

Being held in the heart of America’s heartland, the Iowa State Fair has an iconic status among North American outdoor events. But this year’s fair may also represent a breakthrough for ......[read more]

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San Mateo County Fair Builds Increased Attendance and Positive Guest Experiences

A smattering of chilly days may have suppressed ride revenue at this year’s San Mateo County Fair but the other sectors of this Silicon Valley event all moved in a positive trajectory. ......[read more]

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Things Looking Up For San Joaquin County Fair

The 2018 San Joaquin County Fair took place from June 14 to June 17. The fairgrounds are managed by the 2nd District Agricultural Association and the fair has begun to revive after periods of ......[read more]

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Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment Overcomes Tornado with Optimistic Outlook
CarnivalWarehouse: Views from the Road

Weather woes have marked the 2018 spring routes of most carnival companies in the northeast. Midway providers may have cold, rainy weekends in common, but few companies anywhere survived an actual ......[read more]

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Carnival Warehouse: Views from the Road
Rick Riethoffer: Getting to Fair Time After a Cold Wet Spring

This year started out promising for Reithoffer Shows, but then came a cold and damp spring. Carnival companies may invest in new equipment and other upgrades, create stronger marketing collaborations ......[read more]

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Keizer Iris Festival: Everything is Coming Up Irises

The Keizer Iris Festival has been a successful event for 38 years. Located in the town of Keizer, Ore., the event is “blooming” with fun for the whole family with a series of connected ......[read more]

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KMG Releases New Surf Ride for 2018

On May 3rd, 2017, KMG released a design concept for a new ride designed to travel on one semi-trailer. The new ride, who's factory model name is "Surf Ride".  Since, the ride has generated a lot ......[read more]

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Celebrate Fairfax!: Fair Festival Hybrid Survives Rainy Close

A drenched Saturday followed by a rainy Sunday dampened the overall turnout for Celebrate Fairfax!, but this unique combination of music festival and family-friendly county fair had an estimated ......[read more]

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Santa Barbara Fair Goes Out of This World to Increase Attendance and Spending

A healthy uptick in attendance and spending enabled the 2018 Santa Barbara Fair & Exposition to live up to its “Out of This World,” marketing theme. This California fair has become ......[read more]

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Funtastic Shows: Ron Burback Presides Over Carnival History

Located in Portland, Ore., Funtastic Carnival offers a wide range of rides, games, food, and fun for kids and families. From the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival to smaller shows at shopping ......[read more]

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Active Shooter Training: Due to Rising Gun Violence Trends, Fairs Implementing New Security Measures

On the night of Sunday, October 1, 2017, a lone gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 ......[read more]

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Hop on Up to the Calveras County Fair and Frog Jump

According to Calveras County Fairground CEO Laurie Giannini, attendance hopped up this year over last at the annual Calveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee. The event is one of the oldest in ......[read more]

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Gillette Shows Demonstrates Continued Success as a Family Affair

Known as a major player in the northeast, Gillette Shows of Pittsfield, MA, has been around since 1947 and has become a successful, family-run business with matriarch Betty Gillette at the helm. The ......[read more]

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Third Annual Horry County Fair up 10% from 2017

The 3rd annual Horry County Fair took place April 20th-29th at the Myrtle Beach Speedway. Jennifer Willard, the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Myrtle Beach Speedway and NASCAR Racing ......[read more]

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Chicago area Concessionaire, Peter Kasin, Recovers from Surgery

Peter Kasin, one of the carnival industry's best-known concessionaires, is doing well seven weeks after having surgery to remove a softball-sized tumor from his colon. Kasin books games with ......[read more]

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2nd Empire State Fair Gets Rained Out, but Market Potential Remains Clear

Not a whole lot of positives can be said about a nine day fair that had eight days of rain, which included two rained outs when the gates never opened. The fact it was only the second edition of the ......[read more]

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Danny Huston acquires NAME from Townsquare Media Inc

North American Fairs LLC has purchased North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) from Townsquare Media Inc. for $23.5 million plus a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale of NAME in ......[read more]

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Skinners Amusements adds Downdraft for 2018 Season
Show puts extra emphasis on preventative maintenance

Skinners' Amusements is eager to showcase its new Downdraft ride. The piece was supposed to be delivered by Memorial Day, but officials with the Illinois carnival said it's been delayed until June. ......[read more]

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AG Department Engineer Named North Carolina State Fair Manager

The new manager of the North Carolina State Fair is Kent Yelverton, a civil engineer who worked 26 years with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Yelverton replaces Wesley ......[read more]

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Florida Federation of Fairs Convention: Security Workshops and Agricultural Commissioner Debate

An upbeat attitude and an uptick in attendance highlighted the annual convention Florida Federation of Fairs and Livestock Shows, Inc. Convention, held May 17- 19 at the The Hilton Buena Vista Palace ......[read more]

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