thunderbolt85
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 8:47:21 AM
So with Drew bringing the Space Wheels back out (sometime) and watching a video about the train and the Erie County fair thought I would see if anyone wanted to discuss our old favorite the Sky Wheel.

In the video they were talking about train day (tomorrow)on Strates FB page and one topic that came up was the mighty Sky Wheel. I remember back in the 90s that when Strates first dropped the Sky Wheel, they had so many requests to bring it back that the fair manager specifically requested the ride back. So at least for the next two years Strates had it on the road again and put it right in front of the office there in Hamburg, then it was gone forever.

I know from many comments on here that even with the ride being so loved by so many, that it just didn't make enough money for most shows to keep one with the Giant Wheels and all, but I sure do miss them. Nothing like driving up to the fair on a crisp fall night and seeing that green and yellow peeking above the tree's.

I am happy though that shows like Big Rock, and a few others are keeping some on the road. I know there have been discussions on here before, but does anyone have any new stories or memory's that you like to share about the King of the midway?
wvscott
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:03:04 PM
Reithoffer had one years ago at Boonsboro MD, but it sure was rough looking that year. Way back when in the day, A of A had one in Hagerstown MD. I saw the one Powers had in Butler PA before they got rid of it, and theirs was very nice. Don't see any around here any more
thunderbolt85
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:52:33 PM
The last one I saw in person was on Billy Clark's show over at the Ga Mtn Fair, which I believe the model Powers had.

Before that the last ones I saw were Strates and Crown Amusements and that's about it sad to say back in the 90s.

Speaking of this, I was just on the RAS facebook page and saw something interesting had not seen before.

There was one picture of the midway with Space Wheels in the middle, but then there was a third Sky Wheel on the far side of them, so making 3 side by side. That one was different in colors, it had white lights with one star in blue, and one star in red, does anybody know who's Sky Wheel that was.
thunderbolt85
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:55:22 PM
Originally Posted by: wvscott 

Reithoffer had one years ago at Boonsboro MD, but it sure was rough looking that year. Way back when in the day, A of A had one in Hagerstown MD. I saw the one Powers had in Butler PA before they got rid of it, and theirs was very nice. Don't see any around here any more



The only time I every saw AofA's was on the back lot at the Carolina Coastal Fair in 1994, saw it sitting behind the coaster or Discotek I believe, never did get it see operating.

Was hoping to see BCA's one year when I visited the fair in Aiken, but again it was sitting on the back lot.

Most of the time when I saw AofA back in those days they had a Diver and 16 seat wheel up.
ridejocky
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 5:20:32 PM
I seem to remember three or maybe four abreast at the FL state fair back in the ‘80s.
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randy
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018 5:52:11 PM
At the minn. state fair one year I think in the eighties I saw three did Link Shows travel one summer with RAS and it could have been theirs.
Astro85
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 9:00:59 PM
What was the set up / tear down time on the Sky Wheel?
ridejocky
Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:37:53 AM
I never moved one, but four hours down was about as good I ever saw.

6-8 hours was pretty common.
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Bill P
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Thursday, August 2, 2018 1:29:14 AM
Strates left the SkyWheel home in 1994 & 1995. It was back at Hamburg in 1996-1998, 3 years. Yes down in kiddieland behind the grandstand so it could be seen from the office. They hauled it around in 1999 but I never saw it go up that year. They leased it out to Sofo Amusements and it played some small upstate NY spots as well as Meadowlands, Syracuse, winston-Salem & Raleigh with Strates. It was never seen on the route again and was sold in a auction.
Was a surprise to see it at some firemens dates and small fairs the year Sofo had it.


thunderbolt85
Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:00:31 AM
Originally Posted by: Bill P 

Strates left the SkyWheel home in 1994 & 1995. It was back at Hamburg in 1996-1998, 3 years. Yes down in kiddieland behind the grandstand so it could be seen from the office. They hauled it around in 1999 but I never saw it go up that year. They leased it out to Sofo Amusements and it played some small upstate NY spots as well as Meadowlands, Syracuse, winston-Salem & Raleigh with Strates. It was never seen on the route again and was sold in a auction.
Was a surprise to see it at some firemens dates and small fairs the year Sofo had it.





Wow, didn't know all that about Sofo, I did know they leased their Super Sizzler to them, but not the Sky Wheel.

After its first absence I did see it again in Anderson a couple of times I think, but they other years I guess they just didn't bring (when Sofo had it), but I don't know my memory isn't as good anymore. I know the first year I didn't see the Sky Diver was really disappointed as well.
thunderbolt85
Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:06:28 AM
Originally Posted by: Astro85 

What was the set up / tear down time on the Sky Wheel?




Seems I remember our crew could have it down in about 4 or 5 hours, quicker some of the time. However, we didn't have as many lights on it as other shows did, just the star lights, rim lights, and lights in the towers.

Going up they took their time sometimes so a little longer, but we made a lot of Sunday jumps, so they would have it down on Sunday morning and back up for Monday opening.

They would race with the Music Fest crew on tear down, normally of course the Sky Wheel was always down first except for one time the Fest crew beat them. However, it wasn't really fair because the Fest crew had pre-stripped so much it was a joke. They had taken the top off, all scenery on the back top, removed the backside platforms/fence, and the inside scenery. If the ride inspectors had seen that on Saturday they would have had a heart attack.
Astro85
Thursday, August 2, 2018 10:25:07 AM
Always wondered on the tear down time. Thanks!! I always just figured it was an all-nighter, kinda like Flying Bobs/MusicFest/Thunderbolt.
Scott
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Thursday, August 2, 2018 10:49:38 AM
Originally Posted by: randy 

At the minn. state fair one year I think in the eighties I saw three did Link Shows travel one summer with RAS and it could have been theirs.




Royal American and Link Shows teamed up in 1982 and that would have been the year you saw the three in a row. The only photo I know of from that year is of the wheels in Sherevport.


Royal also went into Des Moines at some point and Jim Muphy's Sky Wheel went up next to them.

bigjlh
Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:39:16 PM
seen a pretty sharp skywheel on todd Armstrong shows.a while ago east texas,at a fair do not remember year but had a nice led package on it.it was a while ago whole show looked good.ok then bigjlh
thunderbolt85
Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:59:58 PM
Originally Posted by: ridejocky 

I seem to remember three or maybe four abreast at the FL state fair back in the ‘80s.




Yep, Deggeller did that, they were provided by:

Deggeller
Strates
CVS
Forrest Waltz
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