the_rock401
Saturday, January 17, 2004 7:01:48 PM
I was at the 2004 Minnesota Federation of County Fairs (MFCF)Convention and Tradeshow today at the Raddison South in Bloomington. The MFCF convention also featured the meetings of the Minnesota Agricultural Society, Midwest Showmen's Association, and MSA Ladies Auxillary. I had never been to the Minnesota fair convention before, so let's get to it.

Representatives of the following shows were there:<ul><li>All-American Amusements</li>
<li>Cody's Shows</li>
<li>Family Fun Shows</li>
<li>Farrow Shows</li>
<li>Funland RBS</li>
<li>Gopher State Expositions</li>
<li>Gold Star Amusements</li>
<li>Herr Family Amusements</li>
<li>Magel's Carnival Midways</li>
<li>McDermott Shows</li>
<li>Merriam's Midway Shows</li>
<li>Midwest Rides</li>
<li>MN-NO-SO-DAK Premier Shows (see below)</li>
<li>Minnesota Magic Midway</li>
<li>Northern Lights Shows</li>
<li>Sam's Amusements</li>
<li>Stipe's Shows</li></ul>
I heard word of several possible carnival changes among some county fairs. Will post when confirmed.

I met up with fellow MCW board member Joe Johnson (the-novelty-man), and he introduced me to a couple of Minnesota showmen that he either knows or books with. His operation, J&J Novelties, will be with Gold Star Amusements most of the 2004 season. Some of his acquaintances told a couple of entertaining stories, including one about rioting at the Ohio State Fair.

I got the impression that there were a lot more festivals looking for a show than there were shows to play them.

I was introduced (through Joe) to Byron Osander of Premier Enterprises, more commonly known as MN-NO-SO-DAK Premier Shows. The Osanders got out of the business after the 2002 season, but kept the equipment, and are getting back into the game. In fact, while I was in the Osander's suite, an impromptu negotiating session broke out between Premier and a festival in southern Minnesota.

Just before I left, we ran into AB publisher Tom Powell. He took a picture of myself and Joe, so expect to see my lovely mug in an upcoming issue of AB. Someone PM me when that happens, as I don't get the AB.

The exhibitors in the tradeshow consisted heavily of live singers, magicians, and rodeo companies.

It was a very interesting day, with many things learned and with some literature to chew on. I can't wait for the season to start! Oh, only til mid-May before the season starts...

Your Minnesota MCW Correspondent
Paul
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you have to take a rain check.

DON'T FEED THE TROLL
the_rock401
Sunday, January 18, 2004 4:16:24 PM
Here are some more updates from my sources that occured on the Sunday of the convention.

MN-NO-SO-DAK Premier Shows, after being out of the game for a year, has been getting the dates left and right. Signed Sunday are the Nicollet County Fair in St. Peter, and the Houston County Fair in Caledonia.

Gopher State Expositions signed the Sherburne County Fair in Elk River, the Winona County Fair in St. Charles, and the Itasca County Fair in Grand Rapids.

All-American Amusements signed Bowhead Days in Waterville.

The South Dakota State Fair in Huron moved back to Labor Day weekend. Due to a conflict in timing with the festival in Spencer, Iowa, Merriam's will not be playing it. Instead, a combined effort of Matt Armstrong Shows and Gopher State Expositions will do the spot.

I also heard some more rumors, but will not post details until confirmed.

Your Minnesota MCW Correspondent
Paul
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you have to take a rain check.

DON'T FEED THE TROLL
the_rock401
Monday, January 19, 2004 9:13:01 PM
VERY LATE BREAKING NEWS:

Informed today that Gold Star at the McLeod County Fair in Hutchinson is a done deal.

Your Minnesota MCW Correspondent
Paul
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you have to take a rain check.

DON'T FEED THE TROLL