thunderbolt85
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 5:46:17 AM
You know we discuss the big shows a lot so thought we might could talk about the smaller shows that you remember, maybe 15-20(+/-) ride shows that made an impression (good or bad) on you. Some I remember were some nice regional shows here in the South.

Leland Johnson - can just remember a little, out of Hendersonville NC, had a wheel, roll o Plane, and Trooper I believe. Sadly, never have been able to find out much on this show or pictures.

Hardin Shows - Now from what I remember he used to love to start a show, build the route, sell it then start all over again. Now he had the latter Georgia Amusements, but before that he had Hardin Shows. Can remember the Wheel, Tempest, Scrambler, Rock O Plane, Roll O Plane and kiddies.

Childress (early years) - Remember as a kid he came to town lots of summers, had a Wheel, Scat, Whirly Bird, small round up, MGR, Tubs, Pony Cart, Moon Walk, Musical Chairs and others. This was before he really started growing, but always a nice spring/summer carnival for a week.

McBride - Came to town several summers in late 70s, small show but nice. Ground mount Eli, Scram, Tilt, Roll O Plane and great mix of kiddies. Trailers were all white with red and blue stripe.

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Carnivalbuff
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 12:36:41 PM
Thunderbolt, here in Virginia we had Old Dominion Amusements; owned and operated by Frank McLeod and Family, also Price Amusements. Really a long time ago on that one. Charlie Dalton had Colonial Shows out of Newport News, Virginia. Of course, RC Cole's Dad had a show traveling through Virginia for many years as well. Don't remember any or many of the pieces of equipment though.
thunderbolt85
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 2:16:25 PM
Originally Posted by: Carnivalbuff 

Thunderbolt, here in Virginia we had Old Dominion Amusements; owned and operated by Frank McLeod and Family, also Price Amusements. Really a long time ago on that one. Charlie Dalton had Colonial Shows out of Newport News, Virginia. Of course, RC Cole's Dad had a show traveling through Virginia for many years as well. Don't remember any or many of the pieces of equipment though.




Years ago I visited a friend in Covington VA and I believe I may have saw some old equipment of the older Cole Shows...maybe. Remember a few old rides sitting in a field with weeds, one was a Roll O Plane. That was in the late 80s.
Carnivalbuff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 1:35:58 PM
Yes, RC will tell you that his Dad's years of running a carnival was more of a hobby than a business. RC is totally different; he runs his company like a well oiled machine runs.

Another company I remember from way back in Virginia was MacSpadden. Might not have the spelling correct. I remember though that he had a Tilt, swing ride and some others.
thunderbolt85
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 1:51:06 PM
Yeah back in those days, you could collect a few rides for a while, then put a show on the road fairly easy. I will not say that it was totally a breeze even back then, but jeez not near the paper work, red tape, and all the headaches show owners have today.

Shoot a lot of guys built their own rides, sometimes with stuff bought from department stores (toy tractors, etc.).

I have read some stories about some small shows back years ago that I don't know how they survived for years, of course many just barely made from week to week, and some did really well and grew.
Carnivalbuff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:22:00 PM
Yes, you are certainly right about that. It was much easier back then.
Carnivalbuff
Friday, December 13, 2019 5:23:00 PM
You know Thunderbolt, it is kind of sad that there is not much discussion or dialogue on here like it used to be. Really miss some of the discussion/dialogue back and forth that used to occur.
thunderbolt85
Saturday, December 14, 2019 9:57:10 AM
Originally Posted by: Carnivalbuff 

You know Thunderbolt, it is kind of sad that there is not much discussion or dialogue on here like it used to be. Really miss some of the discussion/dialogue back and forth that used to occur.




I know, I miss the conversations, but I guess everyone has told all they know, some have passed on like RainbowBen. I know a few others got tired of being treated bad so they left.
Carnivalbuff
Saturday, December 14, 2019 8:04:40 PM
I guess you are right. Can't do anything about those that have passed, but I wish those that left would maybe come back and try it again.
Thrill Seeker
Monday, December 16, 2019 9:35:11 AM
A show that will always stand out in my mind was Great Sutton Shows. I don't know where they were based from but they used to do the neighboring county Fair in Kentucky. I remember the lineup like it was yesterday and it was around 1992 or 1993. Atleast 1 or 2 rides were booked in as well.

Radar (chance )
Saturn 6
Octopus-16 tubs
Round up
Zipper
Tilt a whirl
Dragonmaster (Himalaya)
Kick Boodie Swing ride
Carousel
Hampton combo
Hampton cycles
Tubs of fun
Pony carts
Swinger
Fun Slide
Fun house
thunderbolt85
Monday, December 16, 2019 11:02:18 AM
Originally Posted by: Thrill Seeker 

A show that will always stand out in my mind was Great Sutton Shows. I don't know where they were based from but they used to do the neighboring county Fair in Kentucky. I remember the lineup like it was yesterday and it was around 1992 or 1993. Atleast 1 or 2 rides were booked in as well.

Radar (chance )
Saturn 6
Octopus-16 tubs
Round up
Zipper
Tilt a whirl
Dragonmaster (Himalaya)
Kick Boodie Swing ride
Carousel
Hampton combo
Hampton cycles
Tubs of fun
Pony carts
Swinger
Fun Slide
Fun house




I remember that show from AB, never got them to see them in person, but sounds like a nice show. Did they have a wheel or two, or just the Radar?
Thrill Seeker
Monday, December 16, 2019 2:04:03 PM
Originally Posted by: thunderbolt85 

I remember that show from AB, never got them to see them in person, but sounds like a nice show. Did they have a wheel or two, or just the Radar?




I'm not sure if they owned a wheel, they never brought one to that fair.
Carnivalbuff
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 7:39:31 AM
Are there any Suttons that are still in the amusement business? I know that name has been around for a very long time.
Jackpotter
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 8:21:35 AM
Originally Posted by: Thrill Seeker 

A show that will always stand out in my mind was Great Sutton Shows. I don't know where they were based from but they used to do the neighboring county Fair in Kentucky. I remember the lineup like it was yesterday and it was around 1992 or 1993. Atleast 1 or 2 rides were booked in as well.

Radar (chance )
Saturn 6
Octopus-16 tubs
Round up
Zipper
Tilt a whirl
Dragonmaster (Himalaya)
Kick Boodie Swing ride
Carousel
Hampton combo
Hampton cycles
Tubs of fun
Pony carts
Swinger
Fun Slide
Fun house




I can talk a little about Great Sutton Shows as it played my county fair in KY and several others in KY back in the late 80s and early to mid 90s.

As I recall (and I know there are some of the old timers that lurk here still that can confirm) Great Sutton Shows actually began as a west coast show. At some point they moved their WQ to Florida and began operating in the south/mid-south area of the US. At one time they were the longest running carnival in North America. I can remember they had the Adair County Fair in Columbia, KY and the Boyle County Fair in Danville KY along with a few others. I believe they did have a Ferris Wheel at one point and also a Rock O Plane and a Scrambler. The rides were all older models Toward the end it really turned into a rag bag.
Jackpotter
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 8:22:37 AM
How about:

Golden Empire Shows
Mid-South Shows
Gold Medal Shows (Denton's not Guthrie's)
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