|The Industry Buzz
The Industry Buzz features carnival, amusement park, fair and festivals news direct from the lots. If you have newsworthy information that you would like to share on CarnivalWarehouse.com, please email email@example.com. For full feature news articles and exclusive interviews, please check our news and interviews section.
Elliotts Amusements optimistic about 2017 season
Posted by Michael Prelesnik on 1/20/2017
Elliott's Amusements had a successful weekend at the 132rd Annual Convention of the Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions (MAFE) at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Owners Debbie and Tracy Elliott visited with fair boards and committees throughout the weekend at their trade show booth. They are optimistic about the 2017 season which includes a strong route of Michigan county fairs during the months of July and August. Debbie reported three major purchases in 2016 were highly successful including an ARM Ali Baba, a Sellner Bear Affair, and a Watkins Tempest. Although no major ride purchases are planned for this year, the show will be bringing out a refurbished Chester Built elephant ear concession that looks like new, and last fall Tracy completed a new state of the art winter quarters and shop building in Dansville, Michigan. Operations managers Nick and Kasey Elliott as well as patriarch Jim Elliott also attended the convention. The show opens the 2017 season on April 6 in the mid-Michigan area.
Marko Popovich Jr. Passes
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of veteran showman, Marko Popovich, Jr. on January 16, 2017. Visitation will be held at the National Cremation & Burial Society located at 308 E. College Ave in Ruskin, Florida on Thursday, January 19 from 12 noon until 1pm. Masonic services will begin at 1pm. Following the service, the family invites everyone to the IISA in Gibsonton for a celebration of life. Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 1/18/2017
Ivan Arnold, Jim Elliott, and Joe Skerbeck inducted into the Michigan Association of Fairs and Events Hall of Fame
Ivan Arnold of Arnold Amusements, James Elliott of Elliott's Amusements, and Joe Skerbeck of Skerbeck Entertainment Group were inducted into the Michigan Association of Fairs and Events Hall of Fame on Friday.
For over seven decades, Ivan has enjoyed a fascination with the carnival industry. In 1980, Ivan started Arnold Amusements and along with his wife Agnes and family, have grown the company to entertain millions of visitors each year throughout the states of Michigan and Florida. Ivan is also an active member of the International Independent Showmen's Association in Gibsonton, Florida; helping coordinate club events and the annual trade show and extravaganza each February.
Joe Skerbeck is a 5th generation carnival owner and has been a member of MAFE for over 50 years. During that span, he has conducted numerous workshops at the convention and has served as an associate board member. Joe has also been active in the OABA, currently serving on their board. Joe believes in following his family's tradition, "Quality is paramount to us. If things aren't 100% right we won't do them."
James Elliott, AKA Jimmy the Pipe has been active in the Michigan Fair industry since the 1950's. His love for the show started as a youth watching the animal trains being unloaded at the Ionia Free Fair and continues on. Jimmy has worked with many individuals in our industry and has been involved with 90% of the fairs in Michigan during his career. He is also very active with the IISA Carnival Museum in Gibtown.
Congratulations Ivan, James, and Joe on being inducted into the MAFE Hall of Fame! Posted by Matt Cook on 1/15/2017
Bates Amusements to cease operation after 2017 season
It was announced during the Ohio Fair Managers meetings on Thursday that Geary Bates' Bates Amusement Company would cease operation after its 2017 season. It is rumored that Geary's brother, Eric, who owns Bates Brothers Amusements, would pick up some of the dates. Please keep posted to CarnivalWarehouse.com for continued coverage. Posted by MCW Editor on 1/6/2017
Richard Repp Passes
Richard "Dick" Repp 83, of Avon, IL passed away Monday December 19, 2016, 2:52 a.m. at OSF St. Frances Medical Center Peoria, IL. He was born Saturday December 16, 1933 in Avon, IL the son of Cecil and Rose (Mulhatten) Repp. He married Shirley A. (Vernoy) McIntire on July 18, 1959 in St. Augustine, IL, she preceded him on July 23, 2010.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children Cathy (Dennis) Ruff of Avon, IL, Tim Repp of Avon, IL, Pat (Kris) Repp of Kirkwood, IL and Mike (Trish) Repp of Greenville, SC; 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren; and siblings Regina Wall and Ernie Repp. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, 1 grandson (Matthew), 3 brothers, and 1 sister.
Dick was born and raised in Avon, IL. He graduated Avon High School. He served in the U.S. Army as a M.P. He was involved in the Integration of the Little Rock 9. He worked at Gale Products for approximately 30 years. He also worked at Western Illinois University at the Physical Plant for approximately 10 years. He was an avid Notre Dame fan. Dick will be remembered for his fun loving and ornery personality.
Funeral service will be Friday December 23, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at the Avon Federated Church Avon, IL. Visitation will be Thursday evening December 22, 2016, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Avon Federated Church Avon, IL. Burial will be in the Avon Cemetery Avon, IL. Memorials may be made to the Avon-Abingdon Sports Boosters, the Relay for Life Angels in Action, Avon Fire Dept. and/or the Avon Federated Church. Please sign the online guestbook at www.wisefamily-hooverhall.com. Posted by Obiturary on 12/20/2016
Buy one Carnival Calendar, SAVE 40% on a second!
Posted by Matt Cook on 12/19/2016
Buy one, save 40% on a second 2017 Carnival Calendar! This offer is available for a limited time, and only a small number of calendars remain in inventory! Enter code SAVE40 at checkout to take advantage of this offer! 2017 Calendars can be ordered by click here
Wayne "Jake" Inners passes
Wayne E. "Jake" Inners, CEO of Majestic Midways, passed away on December 10, 2016.
"I am proud to say he created a culture within our family and company. Giving to those who couldn't give back, which is the very heart of Christ. While we grieve, we also rejoice and are thankful to be able to carry on his legacy. My father truly led a life well lived, and he will be greatly missed and our work will continue to honor him", said Scott Inners.
A celebration of life is planned for December 19, 2016 at 10am at Grace Fellowship in York, PA. Anyone who is planning on attending is encouraged to RSVP by calling 717-292-2556 Monday through Thursday 9am-5pm or leave a message at any time.
1405 Seven Valleys Rd.
York, PA 17404 Posted by Matt Cook on 12/12/2016
John Peco Named the Canadian National Exhibition Association's Chief Officer, Business Development & Innovation
Toronto, Ontario ... John Peco has been appointed the Canadian National Exhibition Association's Chief Officer, Innovation and Business Development, the CNEA announced today.
"This is a new position, which has been created to fulfill the exciting and evolving needs of our 138 year-old organization." stated Virginia Ludy, the CEO of the Association. "Since we are now an independent entity, we are seeking to expand our business model beyond our 18-day fair. John brings a solid business background, excellent entrepreneurial skills as well as "hands-on" experience in the fair industry to our Association," she elaborated. "We are very thrilled to have him on board to guide us through this transformative period in our history!"
Peco, who joins the CNEA on January 3, 2017, is currently 1st Vice President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE). He comes to the CNE directly from the Markham Fair where he has served as General Manager since 2011. Previous to his time in the fair industry, he flourished as an entrepreneur and owner of several businesses in the corporate consulting and IT sectors. Posted by CNE Press Release on 11/16/2016
Wade Shows Midway receives 97% Approval Rating from New York State
New York State Governor Cuomo held a press conference announcing the results of phase one of a $50 million renovation to The New York State Fairgrounds. During the press conference, she announced that the revitalized Wade Shows Midway, in its new, larger home, scored the highest marks since the survey began in 2008, with 97 percent of respondents saying the Midway experience was very positive. When respondents were asked what improvements they noticed, the number one item mentioned was "more space or openness," at 44 percent, with 88 percent giving the "openness feature" a positive rating.
Posted by Press Release on 11/9/2016
More information can be found on the Governor's official press release by clicking here
John Owens passes
It is with great regret that we announce the passing of John Owens. John spent much of his life working in the fair industry, most recently serving as the acting general manager of the Volusia County Fair in Florida. Prior to that, he was the general manager of the Nevada State Fair and Anderson County Fair & Expo Center (SC). John also worked for the OABA for several years, serving as the organization's Director Of Marketing and Membership Services. John was the proud author of "Opening Night", a book he wrote about creating successful events within the fair and festival industry.
A gathering of friends will be held on October 31 from 4-5pm with the service being held immediately following.
Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home / Orange City
163 South Volusia Ave.
Orange City, FL, US, 32763
Posted by Matt Cook on 10/25/2016
Gold Star Amusement's Richard Hanson passes
It is with great sadness to report the passing of Richard Hanson. Richard was a lifelong friend of the Featherston family and served as a manager at Gold Star Amusements. Funeral arrangements are as follows:
October 6, 2016 at 11am
Posted by Matt Cook on 9/29/2016
Pellerin Funeral Home
211 Berard St.
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
The Featherston family is grateful to Father John Vakulskas for rearranging his schedule to officiate the service.
In honor of Richard's relationship with Jaylin Koerner, it is requested that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation (www.wish.org).
For those who knew Richard up north, the Featherston family is planning to have a Memorial during the Midwest Showmen's Association/MN Federation of County Fairs Convention in Bloomington, MN on January 14, 2017. Time and place TBA.
Top 15 Grossing Games at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair
The total game gross at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair set a record at over $3,259,566.99 in gross receipts, an increase of $377,792.27 (13%) over 2015. Like rides, all games on the Mighty Midway operate on tickets and no cash or coin is accepted. The top 15 grossing games include:
Posted by Matt Cook on 9/21/2016
1. Bottle Up - Candice P. Anderson
2. Goblets - Candice P. Anderson
3. Goblets - Candice P. Anderson
4. Whopper Water Race - Cassata Concessions
5. Fish-A-Rama - Oren Concessions LLC
6. Shoot Out The Star - Midwest Concessions, Inc.
7. Rising Waters Water Race - Cassata Concessions
8. Long Range Basketball - Oren Concessions LLC
9. Long Range Basketball - Oren Concessions LLC
10. Milk Cans - Potopas Concessions, Inc.
11. Top Glo Water Race - Cassata Concessions
12. Ring-A-Bottle - JBS Concessions
13. Ring-A-Bottle - Trejo Concessions
14. Big Mouth - Potopas Concessions, Inc.
15. Balloon Pop Water Race - Thornberry Concessions
Top 15 Rides at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair achieved a record ride gross during its 2016 run with over $4,084,481.41 in ride receipts, an increase of $136,548.30 (3.5%) over 2015.
The top 15 grossing attractions on the Mighty Midway and Kidway include:
Posted by Matt Cook on 9/21/2016
1. Crazy Mouse Spinning Roller Coaster - S.J. Entertainment
2. Sky Flyer - Reithoffer Equipment Co., Inc.
3. Starship 3000 - Laser Fair, Inc.
4. New York New York Fun House - Fair Ride Entertainment LLC
5. Hurricane - Showtime Rides, Inc.
6. Super Nova Roller Coaster - KB Concessions LLC
7. Gondola Wheel - Playworld Unlimited
8. Puppy Express - Prime Pacific Ent. LLC
9. Rock It - State Fair Services, Inc.
10. Tilt-A-Whirl - Lauther Amusements
11. Flipper - S.J. Entertainment
12. Equinox - Laser Fair, Inc.
13. Kite Flyer - Alamo Amusements, Inc.
14. Magic Maze - Wood Entertainment Company, Inc.
15. Arabian Daze Fun House - Fun Attractions LLC
Labor Day Weekend State Fairs Set Record Attendance
Near perfect weather helped three state fairs break record attendance numbers over Labor Day Weekend. The Nebraska State Fair broke its previous record set in 2015 with over 361,107 guests passing through the turnstiles (up 2.5% from 2015). In New York, the newly-redesigned state fair midway saw attendance numbers reach 1,117,630, which broke the previous record of 1,011,248 set in 2001. In Minnesota, the Minnesota State Fair shattered previous attendance records registering 1,943,719 guests through the gates. The previous record was 1,824,830 set in 2014. Both the Nebraska and New York State Fairs midways are provided by Wade Shows while the Minnesota State Fair operates an independent midway. Attendance numbers from the DuQuoin State Fair in Illinois have not yet been reported.
Posted by Matt Cook on 9/6/2016
S&S Amusements patriarch, Steve Swika Jr., passes
It is with great regrets to announce the passing of Steve Swika, Jr., owner of Pennsylvania based S&S Amusements. Steve passed quietly in his sleep on August 19, 2016. Steve is preceded in death by his wife, Jackie. Arrangements have been made at Hedley W. Mason Funeral Home, 436 Main Street in Peckville, PA. Friends may attend Tuesday, August 30, 2 to 5pm or 6 to 9 pm. Funeral services will also be held at Mason Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 31 at 11 am followed by entombment at St. Mary's Mausoleum, Montdale.
Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 8/22/2016
Industry Veteran Gene McQuater Passes
Industry veteran Gene McQuarter passed away at the age of 83. Aside from his life-long accomplishments on the midway, Gene also served as the second Treasurer of the St. Louis Showmen's League and holds a lifetime membership card. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. His funeral arrangements are as follows:
Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 8/17/2016
McDaniel Funeral Home
847 N. St. Louis Ave.
Tilden, IL. 62292
Visitation: Sunday August 21 from 4:00-8:00pm and Monday August 22 from 10:00-12:00pm. Funeral to follow at nearby church.
Minnesota State Fair releases Mighty Midway and Kidway equipment lists
The Minnesota State Fair announced its lineup of rides and games for the 2016 Minnesota State Fair, taking place August 25 - September 5 in St. Paul. Highlighting this years Mighty Midway is the return of S&J Entertainment's Huss Flipper, which took a three year absence from the fair after originally debuting in 2012. Other returning attractions include the Super Nova and Crazy Mouse Roller Coasters, Magnum, Techno Power, New York New York fun house, Big Bamboo, Hurricane (KMG Fun Factory), Equinox (KMG Tango), Rock It (KMG Inversion), and the Stinger.
Posted by Matt Cook on 8/3/2016
New to the kidway is the Majestic Charlie Chopper, booked by Richard Tinsley and Kenny Bender.
Both midways will feature a combined total of 61 rides and attractions.
to view a complete list of rides and games booked at the 2016 MN State Fair.
Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Sr. passes
Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Sr., age 73 of Judsonia, died Monday, July 25, 2016 in Searcy. Mokey was the owner of Star Amusements of Arkansas and owned several CP Huntington trains. He was born January 26, 1943 in Judsonia, Arkansas to Robert Choate, Sr. and Camella Roseanne Winch Choate. He is survived by one son, Lloyd "Mokey" Choate, Jr. and wife Tonya of Judsonia; two daughters, Luanne Quattlebaum and husband Alan of Judsonia, Phyllisha Swindle and husband Jeremy of Searcy; six grandchildren, Krystal Quattlebaum of Judsonia, Kristin Choate of Judsonia, Trea Choate of Judsonia, Brianna Choate of Judsonia, Hunter Choate of Beebe, Landon Swindle of Searcy; and numerous loving great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Posted by Obiturary on 8/2/2016
Tara Pugh passes - updated 7/18
It is with great sadness to report the passing of Tara Pugh.
Pugh, Tara Michelle 36, of Lithia, made her final jump to be with the Lord on July 12, 2016.
Tara was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin and friend. Born in New Castle, IN, raised in Gibsonton, FL before moving to Lithia. Tara spent her childhood with family on the road, traveling with the Amusement Industry. Nothing much changed as she grew into adulthood and met and married the love of her life. Together, they built Pugh Concessions and continued to travel, spending the majority of their time with Reithoffer Shows, Inc. Tara is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Forrest (Ace) and Nancy Mathews.
She is survived by her loving husband, Robert (Beau) Pugh; sons, Clark and Parker; Mother, Carla (Dick - deceased) Rigby; father, Coy Heatherly Jr. ; grandmother, Barbara (Jim) Evans; brother, Coy Max Heatherly; step-brothers, Rande (Joelle) Rigby; Robby (Tish) Rigby; aunt, Teresa (Al) Rimes; uncle, Jeff (Jeanie) Mathews; in-laws, Robert "Bobby" (Debbie) Pugh; Cheri Pugh; Lori (Doug) Dills; as well as
many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Tara was remembered most by the big beautiful smile always displayed on her face. Her main devotion in life was to make her "three boys" happy. She loved and lived life to the fullest. She loved to entertain and plan elaborately decorated events. She enjoyed boating and traveling. She was passionately committed to her family and she had an unwavering love for her business. Tara was a gold card member of the International Independent Showmen's Association and a past First Lady.
Services will be held as follows:
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
6919 Providence Road, Riverview, FL
Visitation will be held from 10:30 am to 1 pm with the funeral service beginning at 1pm.
appreciated .. Tara Loved Flowers!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tara's family and friends. Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 7/13/2016
Wade Shows adds first portable Street Fighter Revolution in US
Wade Shows CEO, Frank Zaitshik announced the purchase of yet another new ride for the 2016 season, a Street Fighter Revolution from Technical Park. The Street Fighter Revolution is in similar design to the traditional Street Fighter, but it makes a complete 360 degree loop upside down. The show purchased a used Street Fighter from a showman overseas and Technical Park will be converting it to the looping model at their Italy based facility. While several Street Fighter Revolution models have been sold to piers and small amusement parks in the US, Wade's Street Fighter Revolution is the first portable version to be owned by a US based Carnival.
The Street Fighter Revolution joins a long list of purchases made by Wade Shows for the 2016 season - totaling over $5 million. Earlier, Wade Shows announced the purchase of a 45 meter Giant Wheel in partnership with Wood Entertainment. The Show also added a Zero Gravity from Battech, a Puppy Roll from Featherston, a Dumbo ride from Kolmax-Plus, and a used Jungle Twist coaster. The show also is having its Zipper re-manufactured by Chance Rides, which will be like new and feature the manufacturers new open air tub design.
Posted by Matt Cook on 4/25/2016
Chance Rides President, Mike Chance, passes
Statement from Dick Chance, CEO Chance Rides and father:
"Yesterday our family and company suffered a tremendous loss. Our son and company president Mike Chance lost his long‐term and well‐fought battle with depression. Mike had suffered from this tough disease for years and had faithfully sought treatment and relief from its effects. Like any other disease that is not yet well understood, depression is often difficult to successfully treat.
We are proud of Mike for bravely fighting this disease for years while living a full and rich life as a wonderful husband and father, son, grandson, brother, friend and a great company leader. He was a triathlete who competed alongside friends in Iron Man triathlons across the country.
Mike valiantly fought this disease while focusing on doing great work together with our employees so the fact that he had this disease will come as a surprise to many who knew him. Just as with other diseases that take our loved ones too early, our family's hope is that research into the treatment for depression will advance. And that those seeking relief from this disease will find a path to successful treatment."
Mike Chance died Tuesday, April 19 at age 42. Service arrangements and memorials are pending. Chance Rides announced the news to employees this morning and is offering ongoing grief counseling for its 100 employees.
A celebration of Mike's life will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church 1550 N. Chapel Hill Drive, Wichita, KS 67206.
Memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations:
KidzCope, 9415 E. Harry, Suite 501, Wichita, KS 67207
Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, 555 N. Woodlawn, Suite 3105, Wichita, KS 67208. Posted by Dick Chance Press Release on 4/20/2016
Wisdom Rides Walter Williams passes
Long time Wisdom Rides parts department supervisor, Walter Williams passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, April 8, 2016.
He lived his youth all over the world as an "Army Brat". It was a life he loved and one that led him to join the United States Air Force on his 17th birthday. He served 8 years, being stationed in the U.S. and Korea. He was a part of the effort in shipping of all ammunition at Kunsan Air Base to the Vietnam War. While a member of the Air Force, he also received numerous citations for various services. He was honorably discharged in December of 1967. He was then employed at Coors Brewery in Golden until he was forced to resign after developing asthma which rendered him allergic to the hops. He and his family the moved to Sterling, where he worked for Evans Railcar until its plant closed. In December of 1987, he went to work at Wisdom Manufacturing where he worked in purchasing and selling until his death. He loved his work.
Visitation will be from 4 pm to 6:30 pm Tuesday, April 12 at Tennant Funeral Home in Sterling, Colorado. Vigil and Rosary evening service will follow at 7 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 13 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church with Father Michael Bodzioch celebrating. Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 4/11/2016
Tim Murphy Passes
We regret to inform you of the passing of Tim Murphy.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Monday March 21
9:00 visitation followed by service at
St. Augustine Church
1910 West Belle St.
Belleville, IL 62226
Posted by Matt Cook on 3/15/2016
Wade Shows & Wood Entertainment Partner on North America's Largest Portable Giant Wheel
Frank Zaitshik's Wade Shows and Michael Wood's Wood Entertainment announced today that they have formed a partnership in the purchase of North America's Largest Portable Giant Wheel. The Giant Wheel will be built by Lamberink of the Netherlands and is slated for a 2017 delivery date. The Wheel will stand at 45 meters tall, one meter taller than the La Grande Wheel owned by Ray Cammack Shows. "This will be the most innovative and exciting attraction purchased by a North American show" said Zaitshik.
Posted by Matt Cook on 3/1/2016
The new wheel will play a combination of independent fairs as well as portions of the Wade Shows route.
Please keep posted to CarnivalWarehouse.com for additional coverage on this spectacular purchase.
Brandon Concessions announces new CEO
Following the passing of company founder, Barry Brandon, Brandon Concessions announced that Alex Brandon, son of Barry Brandon, will be taking over as the company's CEO. Brandon Concessions has over 43 years experience operating carnival games at events of all sizes including eight of the CarnivalWarehouse.com ranked Top 50 Fairs. The company currently operates over 25 concessions and has plans to increase that number in the near future. Brandon Concessions prides itself on providing a first class experience with the best customer service in the business.
"You will instantly recognize the utmost importance of professionalism within our company," commented Alex Brandon about the concession business's mission. "Brandon Concessions goes above and beyond the expectations of our guests and fair partners to provide an experience that truly sets us apart." Posted by Matt Cook on 2/24/2016
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