canadian_carny
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 12:20:32 AM
Hello everybody... I've been semi-lurking for a couple of weeks, but just registered today.

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, and it is a carnival wasteland around here. It's a good thing Conklin comes through for Klondike Days, or else I would go crazy. I'll give you my abbreiviated life story...

In the summer of 1998, I went to the fair for the first time. My and my friend, who were 8 at the time, were going to go on all the big rides but we chickened out. I also remember at the end of the night I played a game of darts, and I won a little toy dolphin, really cheap. It was a new experience for me, but for the the carny it was just another night, just another kid. I walked around that whole night in a daze of bright midway lights, in heaven, never wanting to leave.

For about the week after, I wanted to run away and join the carnival. However, at this time I am 8 years old and I don't know how do use the internet to get info, nor do I really want to. Eight year olds usually aren't that great at staying on topic, so I left the whole idea alone there. But you see at the time, I didn't really have any longings, I just wanted to go for the hell of it, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

In between 1998 and 2002, I didn't go for the fair. My vacations always seemed to be perfectly poised in the same time slot as the fair, during the last part of July. I still liked the carnival... but it just wasn't that big of a deal. I was like any other kid my age. If rides popped up in a conversation, they usually popped right back out.

So finally in 2002 I was planning to go again... but then the person I was going to go with jammed out, so I ended up going with someone else, one of my closest friends who happens to be my dad's girlfriend's daughter. Yes, odd, I know.

So I went from being depressed about not going, to spending $60 in 10 hours. The big turning point was that night. I saw www.conklinshows.com  on some carnies jacket, so I went to their website the next morning. I read everything on that site.

Of course, just as I’m getting into it, I have to leave. This year, going along with my trend of never being there for K-days, I was at summer camp. I made the decision before I even knew what Conklin Shows was. I had a great time at camp, but with the shadow of K-days hanging over me the whole time I was there it wasn't as good as it could have been.

I got back on the second-last day, and needed to get one last glimpse of the fair before it was taken away from me. I spent the next morning making frantic plans on the phone. By this stage, nobody had any money left, so I ended up paying for my friend's POP pass. I was that desperate.

Nonetheless, I had a great time... the night passed by in a flurry of light and action, and it was over before I knew it. I woke up the next morning feeling down, the fair was over and I was just getting started. I missed the fair for the first time in my life.

So for my birthday, which was a few days after the fair, I went to Galaxyland (Edmonton's amusement park, located in the world's largest mall), hoping it would offer the same experience. It didn't. It was different. Although I know appreciate it very much for what it is, I didn't then, and went thinking it would be like a carnival. But still, when I was there, I strained to look into all the back rooms, to see how it really happens.

I was on the Internet all of August 2002, scrounging for any bit of information I could find on carnivals and Conklin Shows. I didn't find much, but the stuff I did just made me more anxious.

Time rolled by... I started getting interested in roller coasters, which was basically to fill the gap the carnival left behind. This was good, because since Galaxyland is indoors, it's open year-round and plus, it has one of the world's best steel coasters in it, Mindbender. In researching the park and the mall, I have gotten to know some people in upper management, many ride ops, and other people at the mall.

During the last school year, nobody except my closest friends knew I liked the carnival. Most people knew about the coasters... but not the fair. I think I was actually embarrassed about it. I just didn't want people to know. But finally near the end of the year, I was thinking to myself that if I'm going to do this, I should be proud of this on the outside, not just inside. So I started talking about it, and know the majority of the school knows.

June came around, and the city was starting to prepare for Klondike Days 2003. Advance p***** went on sale, POP and gate admission for $27, and I snapped some up right away. I ended up getting 7 in total.

The first day of the fair was one of the best of my life. I watched the parade, and headed over to the grounds with one of my friends. I walked in the gate, and immediately had an ear-to-ear grin. My face actually hurt, because I was smiling non-stop for an hour. That was a day of bliss, I was back, and it was just as wonderful as I remembered it. By the end of the night, my friend knew why I liked it. But it didn't stick with her, the way it does with me.

I ended up going 8 times, I never got the least bit tired of it once. One of my friends went 4 times, and she was bored stiff by the end. I was just getting into it, I wasn't ready for it to leave.

On the first night, I was walking down the midway, when this random carny sticks his hand out and introduces himself. We started talking, and I ended up talking to him every day of the fair. So he was pretty cool, I gave him my email and we still talk.

I can never give this up completely now. It's just to much a part of me. When the carnival left, I felt like it took a part of me with it. This has changed my life in so many ways.


Ok, so maybe that wasn't so abbreviated after all. [;)] But anyway, it was good to find a forum where everybody feels the same way about the carnival as I do. It's always good to find out that you're not alone in this world.
One person's monument to crass commercialism is another person's fantasyland.
Da Bair
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 12:39:29 AM
I don't know how you found the time to lurk wheith all that typin' you've been doing.

[;)]J/K - Welcome aboard and enjoy.

Any more lurkers out there wanna come out of the shadows?

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bigeli
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 1:22:47 PM
Welcome aboard !!!!!!! [:)]
So, in a few years, if you're walking down a midway and see a Sixcat or a Swinger or a bucket, look around. You might recognize an old man with a smile on his face. Especially if he's saying, "Hey Buddy, can I ask ya?" -sixcat,circa. 2007
crazyspin
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 3:44:54 PM
Welcome! [:p][:D] Hope you have lots of fun on the MCW Message board! [;)][:D]
Skywheelrider
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 3:51:36 PM
Welcome to the show! You have now entered the major league....[;)]
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
canadian_carny
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 4:56:39 PM
Thanks guys. A nice welcome is always welcome. [:D]

I really don't know how it took me so long to find this message board... since I'm so into carnivals and all.
Just to warn you... I probably will end up talking about Conklin quite a bit. They are basically my only experience with carnivals, in person anyway. But in March, that should change. West Coast Amusements is coming to Leduc, a town near Edmonton, WCA has a good rep as far as I've heard. Conklin was carrying some of their pieces with them last year.

But here's what I found out the other day: Conklin used to bring Doppel Looping out west, I have a picture of Doppel Looping at the Calgary Stampede. I almost fell over when I saw that. I wish they still did... but I don't think there's enough room at my fair.
One person's monument to crass commercialism is another person's fantasyland.
back40
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 6:00:12 PM
Hay Hi and welcome ! I loved the Kdays when I played with Conklin....
do they still have that old mining place on the fair grounds? K-days is much smaller then calgary, but it was a great place . It was where I got my first look at the electrical plugs in the parking spaces [;)] you will enjoy MCW there are alot of great informed people here. [8D]
it's never 'DANGEROUS' being who you are
Fly_By_Night_Carnie
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 7:04:06 PM
Welcome to the board[:o)][|)][|)]
Retired but missing it...
"The hussle hard but we have to enterprise..."-Wycleaf Jean-

"For all your travel needs ... just give me a click"
Fly_By_Night_Carnie
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 7:04:30 PM
Welcome to the board[:o)][|)][|)]
Retired but missing it...
"The hussle hard but we have to enterprise..."-Wycleaf Jean-

"For all your travel needs ... just give me a click"
canadian_carny
Wednesday, December 3, 2003 9:14:58 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by back40

Hay Hi and welcome ! I loved the Kdays when I played with Conklin....
do they still have that old mining place on the fair grounds? K-days is much smaller then calgary, but it was a great place . It was where I got my first look at the electrical plugs in the parking spaces [;)] you will enjoy MCW there are alot of great informed people here. [8D]



Yup, it's still there. It's great about Kdays... because we only hit about 750 000 people, but we get most of the same rides as Calgary, who hit around 1 mil. It's not as busy as the Stampede, with just as much to do.

Where else would you find people that plug their cars in besides Edmonton? [;)]
One person's monument to crass commercialism is another person's fantasyland.
Ross
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 4:36:05 PM
Welcome aboard my fellow CANUCK!

Ross [8D]

P.S. Started reading your post yesterday, (F.Y.I. I finished today)...You're not by chance related to Chris Hurley (SkyWheelRider) are you? J/K Chris...lol! [:p]

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