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Drew Inks Mountain State Fair Contract
Returns to midway once again
By Ron Weber, Editor
RALEIGH - Drew Exposition will operate the midway rides and games at the 2009 N.C. Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services negotiated a one-year contract with the Augusta, Ga.-based company after receiving no acceptable bids for a three-year contract.
State regulations allow the Mountain State Fair to enter into a one-year contract with a carnival company without taking bids.
Drew will pay the Mountain State Fair a percentage of gross ride receipts for the right to operate the rides, games, food concessions and other attractions on the midway. As part of the agreement, Drew will reconstruct the chairlift, which the company operated at the Mountain State Fair in 2002. Drew owns a total of 3 lifts, one being at the Georgia National Fair.
Playworld Amusements of Alma, Mich., ran the carnival under a three-year contract from 2006-08.
"We plan on taking in some big pieces to help bring the ride gross up to where it used to be.", said Jim Drew of Drew Expositions. Some of the rides they will be bringing include their Seattle Wheel, Enterprise, Pirate, Himalaya and Cyclops.
This winter Drew purchased a used Enterprise out of Canada. Jim said that the ride was one of the last ones produced by Huss and was in very good shape. They are working on touching up the ride and re-racking it to make for easier transportation. The ride will rack on two trailers once finished and will be set up with use of a knuckle boom crane. There will be no backwall, but there will be a oversized (30ft long) Enterprise sign on the back side of the ride.
Last year Drew purchased Conklin Show's Wild Cat roller coaster and they have been hard at work restoring the ride to top condition at their Augusta, GA winter quarters. They replaced all the old brakes with new magnetic ones. At this time, they are unsure which events the coaster will play due to its large size. It is approximately 7-8 trailers and much larger than most portable coasters on the road today.
Jim said that many shows are selling off their large multi trailer rides, however, due to the high capacity and uniqueness of the pieces, they plan so keep the rides they own. Drew would like to add one or two new rides to the show this winter and will be shopping in Gibtown.