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Reithoffer Shows Adds to Ride Arsenal for 2023 Season

Reithoffer Shows adds the Ice Jet from Bertazzon
The Ice Jet is a spectacular "bobs" style ride with led lighting and all the bells and whistles.

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Reithoffer Shows of Gibsonton, Fla. has acquired new attractions for the upcoming 2023-2024 season. Company president Rick Reithoffer announced the new acquisitions. 

Sharon Popovich, the company's social media director and jack-of-all-trades, relates that “We have taken delivery of two new rides this past week, the Ice Jet and the New York, New York Funhouse. But as always with rides made in Europe, we have to make them roadworthy in the U.S. before we can send them out to our events.”

The Bertazzon Ice Jet is 63 by 62 feet and 22-feet in height. The ride can carry as many as 40 guests and has a cycle that lasts 2 and a half minutes. The Gosetto New York, New York Funhouse is themed with graphics and lights representing the city that never sleeps.

According to Popovich, “Our Ice Jet requires the purchase of another trailer and then we will have that trailer racked to load the cars, scenery, polar bear, and extras that are not mounted on the center load. That will take a couple months, so we hope to debut that ride at the Wilson County/Tennessee State Fair,” she says. While the Funhouse requires less to be done to ready the attraction, it too will likely make its debut in Tennessee in mid-August.

Reithoffer is committed to adding new attractions to their quiver and plans to announce other additions in the near future. In 2022, the carnival added three different attractions. “Late in 2022, we acquired the Speedy Gonzalez Kiddie Coaster and the Hulk from Technical Park. We just added a trailer for the Hulk this year that loads scenery and extras, but also has a marquee that folds out and acts as a backdrop for the ride,” Popovich says. “We also purchased a new Wave Swinger from Bertazzon in 2022.”

The company is also making technical additions to make sure the carnival's two units, Orange and Blue, have the equipment necessary to run as smoothly as possibly. “We have a few new generators on order that should be delivered within the next couple of months. The Orange Unit actually has a double generator that should be delivered in April,” she notes. The carnival is also adding a new French fry food concession to their Blue Unit this fall.

Popovich adds that the new rides just delivered were ordered back in 2020 but were delayed due to both the pandemic and because of supply chain issues. “We are very excited to finally have them added to our inventory,” she says.

The carnival's route began in February in Florida. “Our summer route is usually flexible with multiple smaller events. We have a couple large events in Florida in February and March and then our larger fairs start in August through November,” Popovich says. The show's last scheduled date so far is the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, Alabama in early November.

The 2022 season was a great year for Reithoffer, she attests. “We were lucky enough to have our full labor force and we added the Coastal Carolina Fair to our route. Most all our events were at or above our highest attended years.”

She says Reithoffer Shows is looking forward to a great 2023 season and remains committed to providing new and expanded experiences for guests. “Every year at the end of the season, we reflect and ask, ‘what can we add or improve on for next year?' The Reithoffers' never stop re-investing for every location and fair. They always want to be better. Not just for our fair partners but also for their employees and staff members. It truly is a family business, and the Reithoffer family is dedicated to the success of every fair, event, employee, and partner we do business with.”

Even during the pandemic, the Reithoffer Shows team made big investments in new rides and equipment, with the Orange Unit taking delivery of the pendulum ride known as The Beast, from Technical Park in Italy, a Magic Maze Hall of Mirrors, and a Kiddie Bumper Boats attraction.

The company began under the auspices of Julius Reithoffer who emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. He purchased the first ride: a steam-driven carousel, in 1896, soon adding a Ferris wheel while continuing to run a general store. Then, the family made the decision to sell the store, reinvest in the carnival, and take it on the road, relying on railroads first and later, truck travel as the years went on.
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