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Offline indianacarnie  
#1 Posted : Sunday, December 6, 2020 2:04:57 PM(UTC)
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Title pretty much says it all, what's your favorite show? Either for working (for those of us that are with it) or for visiting (for those of us who aren't) and why?

Thought this would be an easy topic, but as I wrote that first line I got to thinking that it's not quite as obvious as I thought it might be. Maybe easier for the enthusiasts than the rest of us.

For many years Wade Shows was my favorite show. I'm talking about Wade back in the early/mid 80's though. Beautiful medium sized show with a great route. Don't get me wrong now, its STILL a beautiful show and Frankie is one of the few people I genuinely respect and admire in this business. But for me personally it's just too big anymore .... I really think it's lost something. Still an outstanding show though, no doubt about it.

My favorite show that's out of business now is a three way tie I suppose. Goodings Million Dollar Midways because I always made SO MUCH money with them. Only played a few spots a year on that show but knew I'd make bank and they never failed me.
Johnny's United Shows/United Shows because ..... well lol.... well.... because it was a real old school show. Yes, Gregory was a ass and yes it wasn't the prettiest show going but when you were on that show you KNEW you were on a CARNIVAL a real honest to god carnival. No, lol.... I still find it a little hard to swallow that Mr. Gregory died when they say he did. He's most probably gone now I mean, how long has it been? But I'd bet money that he died on some Caribbean beach years after they say he did. I must admit (full disclosure) to REALLY checking out his old L.Q. for a "secret safe" lol. Miss Jane owned it for awhile if I'm not mistaken before it was sold to Harley and went to Canada as a primary living abode. I stayed in it a few times when it was on Mikes property during winters I stayed there. But I digress.
Drago Amusements gets the 3rd spot of my favorites that's no longer with us. Beautiful show, great people and a very good route .... what more could you ask for? I was there for most of their last 3 seasons and still recall my time there very fondly.

Favorite current show? Now, for me this is a bit complicated as the show I was going to name when I wrote the title is PROBABY out of business. No, I haven't called them this year and they were scaling WAY back last season and suitcased in most of their remaining spots. Fiesta Rides Inc is/was their name. A real family owned and operated show with some of the best people I've met in this business. Sadly the kids have no interest at all in it and IF by chance its still a viable concern next season it will surely be its last. So....... my favorite current show? Big A I suppose. While I haven't been on them for a few years I can't believe they've changed all that much. A big show with a small show "feel" to me. Plus the fact that.... well, lol, it's pretty much old school too. ESPECIALLY for a bigger show. You know you're on a Carnival there.
(As an aside, once all the small family owned and run shows are gone our beloved business will have lost a huge part of our ...... soul? ...... identity? .... maybe both. While there is certainly something to be said for the huge traveling amusement parks it was and is the small and medium shows that entertain the majority of carnival goers. Add all those 10/20/50k attendance fairs/festivals together and you're talking major numbers.)

Well, thats mine. A little long winded I must admit but....... whats your's?

Edited by user Monday, December 7, 2020 12:03:10 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

An end, even with terror, is better than terror without end. F.Neitzsche
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william davis on 1/15/2021(UTC)
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Offline JimW  
#2 Posted : Sunday, December 6, 2020 2:25:59 PM(UTC)
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OK, I'm a little biased on this one because I worked for them one summer but my favorite show that's gone would be The Gooding Amusement Co. (NOT the Million Dollar Midways, that was Goodings other show). 12 small units based out of Columbus Ohio with a whole bunch of majors that would "hopscotch" from one unit to another as needed.
And all their Jennies still had REAL band organs.
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indianacarnie on 12/7/2020(UTC), ringmaster on 12/31/2020(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#3 Posted : Monday, December 7, 2020 8:10:47 AM(UTC)
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From the NYT: "Ed Gregory Jr., an old-time carnival operator who befriended celebrities and staged shows at the White House but who had myriad legal troubles, including a federal bank-fraud conviction for which he and his wife were pardoned in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, died on Sunday at his home in Brentwood, Tenn. He was 66."

RIP


Working on show rides you don't really work a lot of different midways. I really had no real interest in carnivals until I was between jobs and joined Atlas Greater Shows for a couple years back in the '70s. They treated me okay and I had a great time. They're gone now so that would have to be my favorite show no longer in business.

'78-'88 I was on Strates and back then we had a pretty badass lineup of iron and a strong fair route to support it. Mr. Strates always treated me right, so while they might not be what they once were, they still have to get my vote as favorite show still in business.

Dope ruined the business


Ride the Zipper?
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indianacarnie on 12/7/2020(UTC), thunderbolt85 on 1/13/2021(UTC)
Offline JustinJames  
#4 Posted : Friday, December 11, 2020 8:28:38 PM(UTC)
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I am biased to say Big Rock for my favorite... But it truly is in my opinion. As far as other shows, Pugh was one of the best as far as past shows. RCS is a show I would love to see in person someday. Wade is one of the best for midway presentation along with Talley as well.
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indianacarnie on 12/31/2020(UTC), thunderbolt85 on 1/13/2021(UTC)
Offline IndianaTED  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, December 23, 2020 10:18:40 AM(UTC)
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indianacarnie, thanks for this topic and your mention of Johnny's United Shows, which is my choice.

However I am referring to the Portemont's ownership of the Show and being the "Johnny's" in the name. This Show originated in my hometown of Brazil, Indiana and even claimed it as a "northern address" in the 50s. The last few years underneath the stewardship of John Portemont Jr., the Show had grown and had many spectacular rides. They played our local 4th of July Celebration every year and this event was always one of the biggest events in western Indiana, and one of the biggest 4th of July events in the state. Still have very vivid recollections of this Show and some of the characters that were apart of it.
I've never been "with it", just been an interested observer of carnivals for more than 50 years.
Johnny's United Shows..."A Family Tradition" and "All for Fun, Fun for All".
The carnival of my youth, which had roots that originated in my hometown.
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indianacarnie on 12/31/2020(UTC), thunderbolt85 on 1/13/2021(UTC)
Offline ringmaster  
#6 Posted : Thursday, December 31, 2020 5:32:18 AM(UTC)
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ROYAL AMERICAN SHOWS in all capital letters.
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indianacarnie on 12/31/2020(UTC)
Offline bigjlh  
#7 Posted : Thursday, December 31, 2020 11:24:23 PM(UTC)
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Yes ringmaster,greatest show of all time.imho.
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ringmaster on 1/2/2021(UTC), indianacarnie on 1/4/2021(UTC)
Offline britt  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:17:43 AM(UTC)
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favorite that is gone -- Playworld
lots of favorites now. Big Rock, PGAM, Wade, top three. many others
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indianacarnie on 1/6/2021(UTC)
Offline thunderbolt85  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 8, 2021 1:11:47 PM(UTC)
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My favorite right now is Strates, has been for a long time. Favorite that is gone, I would have to say I do miss Johnny's United Shows, one nice show. But I also miss Childress Shows and Deggeller Magic Midway.
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indianacarnie on 1/8/2021(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#10 Posted : Saturday, January 9, 2021 12:31:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: thunderbolt85 Go to Quoted Post
My favorite right now is Strates, has been for a long time. Favorite that is gone, I would have to say I do miss Johnny's United Shows, one nice show. But I also miss Childress Shows and Deggeller Magic Midway.


Hey TB, how's it going? Miss your posting....

Ride the Zipper?
Offline thunderbolt85  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:52:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ridejocky Go to Quoted Post
Hey TB, how's it going? Miss your posting....




Oh doing ok I guess, thanks for asking. Glad 2020 is over, looking forward to going to a midway somewhere this year hopefully, last year was the first time in my life since I guess about 5 or 6 that I didn't visit at least one carnival midway (or more), of course I know most of us if not all are in the same boat.

Hope you all are well.
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