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Gibtown Trade Show Gets into Full Swing on Wednesday with H-2B Seminars
Lynam's Amusements Takes Delivery of New Ferris Wheel during Show

Luna Park Displayed a New Ferris Wheel

Rides 4U - New & Used Rides Hildebrand Rides is now booking
Wednesday, February 15th was a near perfect weather day for the show. As the bulletin board filled up and new faces arrived in town, the show began to hit its stride. Manufacturers and suppliers seemed happy with crowds and said people were in a buying mood. While crowds were not overwhelmingly large, the event was well attended and the “right people” were there, according to vendors.

Carnivals came from all over the country and Canada. Wild Rose Shows, who play western Canada were at the convention, as were Classic Amusements from California, Windy City Amusements from Chicago, and many owners from the East Coast. Mary and Tom Talley from Talley Amusements was on hand to learn and contribute at the H-2B labor seminar being held today. The H-2B topic remains very popular with carnival owners and is one of the best attended functions during the week of the show. Even a retired carnival made an appearance. Sam Johnston, the former California show and park owner, is still involved with the SLA and other industry organizations, and Susan and Tim Magid who recently sold their full show, were on hand, keeping a toe or two in the business.

Lynam's Amusements

Earl Derrickson of Lynam's Amusements was proud to be taking possession of his new Gondola Wheel from Luna Park. The ride was originally purchased in 2019, but delays from Covid-related issues stalled delivery until this year in Gibtown.

Unfortunately for Derrickson, the delays in use of the ride may continue, as the majority of his route is played in the State of New Jersey. The state is notoriously difficult to work with on the engineering side, when bringing a new ride to New Jersey. Without a similar ride already approved by the state, Derrickson fears he may face challenges getting his new wheel open. Derrickson has hired a private engineering company and he is hoping they will be able to work out any issues, so he can get his new piece operating at his events.

The issues in NJ should not carry over to the other states he plays. Derrickson's route takes him through south Jersey and into Delaware and Pennsylvania, playing Catholic churches, fire department events, and city celebrations.

The show was started by his father-in-law and Derrickson got his first job on the carnival at a local fair working for the carnival. The show owner's daughter, Debbie, took a liking to the new hire and they were later married. The couple slowly increased their responsibilities, taking over operations and booking until Mr. Lyman was able to just supervise operation at his leisure. With his passing, Earl and Debbie became full owners of Lyman's Amusements.

The show is now up to 18 rides, including a Zipper, Gravitron, Sizzler and Round Up. They set up and tear down in a day, so they move quickly. The wheel will fit nicely into that routine.

Lyman uses no foreign labor at present, hiring local workers to do the job. He also carries a candy wagon for food and is in the market for a new fun house.

The season for Lyman runs April to October usually, but they recently picked up a new Winter event that will extend the season into the end of the year. The event includes ice skating and holiday festivities.

Derrickson is looking forward to another successful season in 2023. Asked how the 2022 season was he replied, “I had a good season, but I think everyone did well last year!”

Great American Side Show

Keith Stickely of the Great American Side Show had an interesting entry into the business. He started as extra help with Pugh Shows at 15 years old. He did some work for Danny Huston, who happened to be friends with Stickley's parents. His parents were involved with the local fair in Birmingham, Michigan.

While his parents weren't too pleased about Stickley's career interests, his love for the amusement business only grew over time.

Stickley attended college and later, law school at Western Michigan University. Upon graduation, he provided some services to carnival owners including important commercial motor vehicle work. The laws for vehicles can be very confusing, and difficult to navigate, but Stickley, having one foot in the industry and one in the law, is able to help his clients avoid issues or resolve them once they have started.

In 2010, Stickley framed his first show, with some advice from his friend Tim Dermer. Dermer was a veteran of the side show industry and provided a wealth of knowledge to Stickely. That first show was a Mermaid illusion and Stickley dabbled in running the show while he developed his law practice. It became a nice side gig for extra income when he was getting started in the law.

Stickley's reputation grew in criminal law, and St. Joseph's County came calling to ask him to be their chief Public Defender. This honor can take up quite a bit of Stickley's time, but he still manages to keep his shows on the road.

In 2017, TIm Dermer passed away and Stickley bought both his Palace of Illusions show, a 10 in 1, and the Gabora the Gorilla Girl show.

With a busy law practice pulling on his time, Stickley relies on key employees and a limited season to run his business. He starts out in June with the Gorilla Show and brings out the larger Palace Of Illusions during the busiest months of July and August. With limited employees and a busy schedule, he is only able to operate one show at a time. His season lasts from June through Labor Day.

As if his plate wasn't already full enough, Stickley now runs a Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch during the late fall. He has a 1/4 mile miniature train ride as well as a kid's carousel and hay ride. The event has been a success and now Stickley has another business to add to his varied list of things to do.
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