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  • Community Support Leads to Record Midway at Calaveras County Fair
    Community outreach,  combined with revamped social media and an improving California economy, boosted the 2017 Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee. Attendance reached a high of 39,428, spending was up and midway revenue was a record gross for the carnival company.

    The weather was cooperative - mainly in the 80s and no rain - but community outreach was key to another successful Calaveras County Fair. It seems the community loves and support their county fair like few others. "There is a lot of community support for this fair, it is still a very community oriented event and a real example of rural America coming together," said Kevin Tate, President/CEO, California Carnival Company. "This particular community gets it. Out of all the county fairs we play in California, this gets the most community support. They love their fair."

    Community Outreach
    Also known as the Frogtown fair, the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee has the historic pedigree that seems ready made to cultivate deep roots in the community. Having started in 1893, not only is it one of the longest running county fairs the Golden State, but the fairgrounds are the setting of one of Mark Twain's most well-known short stories, the "Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," first published in 1865.

    "The frog competition is what makes us unique," said Laurie Giannini, CEO/Fair Manager. "The historical element is very important. ESPN came out and did story on us this year. It's a big deal, and at the end of the day, that is a marketing edge and tool, that we can use. But we are getting more people from the community, and that is an opportunity to promote agriculture. We host people who have never been to a rural fair, and we can show off our livestock industry, show that many people still make  their own jams, we can educate people on our vast grape and wine industry,"

    This year, the fair expanded its collaborations with many different community entities, such as creating a relationship with the Wine Grape Alliance, said Gianni. This also led to increasing the number of sponsors for the fair. "It's a combination of the economy in the area is just much better," she said. "We designed our sponsorship programs differently than we had in the past, and we reached out to many different businesses and people who supported the fair. We also did more things personally, myself and our staff, we talked to more people in the community and they came out and supported their fair and businesses wanted to sponsor the fair so they could be seen by the community. They realized the benefit of sponsorship."

    Community outreach also meant bringing in more school children and their families, offering a complete "school package" to 13 different school. In keeping with the fair's Mark Twain themes, the program included a reading competition, where students kept a log of books they read and were able to get into the fair with free admission and other perks. 

    The fair also had an effective youth movement by reaching Gen-Y and millennials where they are - on their mobile devices and social media platforms. Social media marketing grew this year because "We really concentrated on Instagram," she said. "We also have a really good Facebook following and that attracted younger people to the fair. We also posted little videos that we made, which we were shared with community groups on Facebook."

    #Communitymakesithappen was a popular hashtag, inviting all the members of the community to be part of the fair. 

    Carnival Comeback
    The fair's marketing tagline was "Country nights and Carnival lights," which spearheaded an intensive advertising campaign, launching approximately six weeks before the fair. "Our theme was to celebrate our carnival and our country atmosphere, we used a variety of marketing and community outreach, as well as a commercial video, to get people to come to the fair."

    She added, that, during the fair, the focus was all  "social media focused, especially Instagram."

    The country atmosphere was also accentuated by Ned LeDoux, a headliner in the 2,300 seat grandstand. His appearance boosted that Friday's attendance. Gianni was unable to confirm if any record days were set during the fair, but the LeDoux show "was the best attended Friday that I can remember." Other grandstand entertainment included , the Destruction Derby and 4th  annual  California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association (CCPRA).

    The highpoint of the fair was a record carnival, according to Giannini, up compared to 2016. The California Carnival Midway featured 21 rides, including Tango, New Wave Swinger, Baja Buggy. Himalaya, and Pharaoh's Fury. He said that the Zipper and the Century Wheel were the leading grossing rides. 

    It was the 5th year for this midway provider to be hosted by Frogtown, and the fair manager praised the midway's look and feel. "Theirs's a such a clean show, every show," she said. "The carnival is clean and well done, I am on the west coast, and they have one  of the best midways in California and they continue to do what they do well. Their presentation is awesome." 

    Continued Growth
    "We continue to grow at Calaveras," said Tate. "We increased every year and this year was our highest gross."

    He pointed out that the cleanliness of the midway is "something people automatically notice," said Tate. "If you don't have a clean midway, they attribute that to the fair, so you are representing them.  

    The other feature is customer service, "it's one our main things. If people don't get the customer service, they will complain. Our staff is polite and well-mannered, please, thank you. They look nice, clean shirts. We have a very warm midway, people remember that. You really can't get good customer service these days anywhere, so they really notice it on the midway." 

    Tate pointed out that prior to California Carnival Company taking over, a well-publicized accident in 2008, where 21 were severely injured when a YoYo ride (a similar accident on the same ride occurred in 2006 Six Flags over Texas in March 2006 injuring nine people) collapsed.  A settlement of $3.375 million was finally awarded in 2010, according to Motherlode Magazine, a California online news source. "According to a news release from the law firm Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, Brass Ring Amusements, Chance Rides Manufacturing and North American Amusements will pay to Robert and Deena Milligan, whose five children were injured in the accident." 

    The accident  was the first and apparently only serious ride accident in the fair's long history, and while the fair was not a party in the lawsuit, obviously association with the incident has been an obstacle until recent years. "The fair worked very hard with the community, and it has taken them years to get trust back in the safety of the carnival," said Tate. "We work our butts off to regain that trust, and take nothing for granted. We work with the fair every step of the way."

  • Maricopa County Fair: Good Weather & New Programs Meant Expectations Exceeded; Butler Amusements has a record year
    The Maricopa County Fair expected to be down this year, at least for one Sunday. Because of the demands of the calendar, the fair was open on an Easter Sunday and according to Karen Searle, Executive Director, the expectation was for the fair to be down. The good news is, the attendance was not down as low as anticipated. 

    "I believe we were on Easter for the first time in our history, and we had done some research on fairs that happened on Easter, with two of them here in Arizona," said Searle. "We were expecting to be down by 30 percent or more on Sunday. Although we were down on Sunday, it was only about 18 percent." 

    Easter Show
    The fair offered some programming keeping line with the holiday theme - such as the "Huge" Egg Hunt featuring $5,000 in Cash Prizes, which was broken down into three different age categories: (5-10) (11-17) (18-and up), a non-denominational church service and of course, a photo-op visit by the Easter Bunny. 

    Combined with a strong midway, community outreach to schools with a program of field trips and farm tours and, and a range of new attractions, Searle said that attendance showed another increase, although she didn't disclose the final tally. "We were up [over last year], she said. The Maricopa County Fair attendance generally exceeds 70,000. 

    Luckily, weather was in the fair's favor, with ideal spring Arizona temperatures and clear skies encouraging people to come out. "Beautiful, sunny and warm," said Searle. "Highs were 92, 94, 90, 88 and 91." 

    The result was increased revenue for the fair. According to Searle, fair spending was "up, we had several food concessionaires that had their best days ever." However, final numbers for the 2017 fair were still being calculated, she said.

    Butler Record
    In addition, the midway by Butler Amusements, saw what Searle described as a great year.  "Revenue was up," she said, adding that the revenue had "a record year." 

    "The midway for 2017 was up and each year it continues to grow," said Kelley Butler of Butler Amusements.

    The Butler Amusements midway featured 39 rides, four more than last year, as well as six foods and 20 games. New for the 2017 Maricopa fair was Big Top, a new circus themed funhouse with its beautiful color changing LED light show and newly painted scenery and "the Super Shot-a drop tower ride," she said. 

    She added, "the most popular rides this year were the Inversion, Vertigo, and Super Shot. The most popular kid rides were the Pirate Jet and the Wet Boat ride."

    Other rides at the fair included: Spin Out; Vertigo; Zillerator Coaster; Giant Scooters; Evolution; Giant Wheel, Fireball, Ring of Fire, Zipper,  Zombie Carnival Dark Ride, Starship 3000, Wacky Worm, Tilt-A-Whirl and Kite Flyer. The Butler Midway expanded its contingent of Kiddie & Family rides which included Toon Town, Frog Hopper, Looney Tooter Train, Chopper Hopper, Lolli Swing, Jungle of Fun and Dizzy Dragon as well as the two exclusive Butler rides, from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch - Balloon Samba and Dragon Wagon.

    Butler noted that the promotions - especially outreach to schools - helped fuel the record midway this year. These promotions not only include unlimited ride wristbands, and a 5 rides for $5 promotion that is used by school field trips to the fair, but an array of community and school oriented promotions, including the Read to Ride program at the Maricopa County Fair, where kindergarten through 6th grade students who read four books, and bring a completed form on the designated Student Appreciation Day, received both free admission to the fair and a free ride. Students and their families turned out in droves for the day. 

    "This fair works well with the schools in the area," said Butler. "It's great to see all the kids on school field trips exploring the fair.

    Rebounding Economy
    Searle noted that the Arizona economy's rebound is "continuing" According to the Arizona's Economy & Research Center website, "The Arizona economy coasted into 2017..., the state continues to outpace the nation in job creation. In better news, the state's unemployment rate declined again last year, and is now back to a level last seen just before the Great Recession."

    The Phoenix market has seen an influx of new families and housing, creating an optimum demographic for the family entertainment the county fair offers. 

    This year, the Maricopa County Fair has added four shows to the lineup, highlighting its family-friendly appeal: The Great American High Dive featuring The Human Torch, who lights himself on fire before diving into the pool; Nancy Riegler and Blue Bear-y Bear drove around the grounds in a replica Model T; famed balloon artist Steve's Fun Balloons, and an exclusive Meet and Greet with Peppa Pig, the television celebrity from Nick Jr. 

    These acts augmented the more traditional Maricopa County Fair attractions, such livestock auctions, farm tours for children, BMX Bike Show, pie baking contest, and back-to-back monster truck shows. In addition, the shopping pavilion at the fair had more than 60 vendors inside the building, another 25 merchandise vendors outside.

    The fair's advertising budget was $100,000 about the same as last year, with a similar media allocation: tv: 45.8 percent, Radio:  20.5 percent; Print: 14.4 percent and "other" (including billboards, printing of flyers, etc.): 19.3 percent.

    The fair  shifted towards an expanded social media marketing presence. A couple of years ago, they created a marketing position just for social media, and this year spending did shift more towards social media. Two years ago, the fair hired a social media marketing expert, to focus solely on social media marketing for the fair.  In 2017, "we did more Facebook advertising," she said. 

    The fair re-used its clever abbreviated marketing theme from last year AZ, AG & EWE, which has proven to be an ever-green tagline. 

    The fair featured 23 food vendors and though Searle wouldn't comment on any new fair cuisine at this year fair, according to the website, "Foodies will appreciate the wide selection of fair food. Food offerings include unique items like Steve's Flaming Hot Turkey Legs, Deep Fried Coffee, the Mac Doggie Dog and so much more."

    With sales and attendance up, the Maricopa County Fair - which bills itself as the largest county fair in the Phoenix area - had a strong outing this year. What made the success, according to Searle, was that the programming, social media push and community outreach more than compensated for the anticipated Easter Sunday dip that was far less devastating than expected.

     "Overall, we had a great fair," said Searle, adding that expectations were "exceeded - as I said, we were prepared for a down year."

  • Hampton Makes Pineapple Whips Out of Lemons After Theft of Equipment
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Veteran concessionaire Larry Hampton has brought a fresh look to the Amusements of America midway with his new smoothie trailer.
    Hampton, the show's concessions manager, purchased a used game trailer last year and converted it into a food attraction. He owns about a half-dozen carnival games, but with that aspect of the business trending downward over the past several years according to Hampton, he decided to try something different. The winter project kept him busy over the offseason.

    He invested about $20,000 for the retrofit, which includes a used soft-serve ice cream machine he bought for $6,000, a relative bargain compared to a new one that costs three times as much, he said. The machine dispenses Dole pineapple soft-serve, a sweet treat that's part of the operation in addition to the regular smoothies, frozen cheesecake and frozen bananas on the menu.

    The trailer's colorful tropical theme is the work of Jimmy Ellis, a carnival graphics specialist in Gibsonton, Fla. Hampton did most of the other work in Plant City, Fla., the place he calls home.

    "I've never really had anything food-related on the midway, so I thought I would try the smoothie business," Hampton said. "Pineapple is the big thing. I decided to sell the Dole pineapple whip, so I needed to have one of those machines."

    Smoothies cost $5 to $12 depending on the size and the Dole whip cup runs for up to $15 for a large portion served in a real pineapple. Chocolate-covered bananas cost $3 and the cheesecake is $6. 

    To date, the new stand has been a big hit on the midway, and as the season starts to hit its peak, Hampton plans to supplement the primary trailer with a smaller smoothie location, starting at the State Fair Meadowlands. The event runs from June 22-July 9 in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and Giants.

    Elsewhere, the two smoothie stands will be featured at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus (July 26-Aug. 6), as well as the "strong fall route" for the unit run by Marco and Robbie Vivona that covers multiple fairs in the Southeast.

    For Hampton, the new piece of business has helped soften the blow after he had some equipment stolen last year outside a motel in Florence, S.C., where the carnival's winter quarters are situated. 

    All told, it was a net loss of about $50,000 after insurance paid for about one-third of the stolen equipment, Hampton said. 

    "It's just one of those things," he said. "You have to work a little harder and get something else going."

    Apart from the smoothie biz, Hampton continues to book his balloon dart, machine gun and water race games, but the revenue those concessions generate depends on the help, which gets worse every year, he said.

    Hampton has been in the carnival business for more than 50 years after first hitting the road with his parents when he was 10 to 12 years old. They all worked for Earl "Chili" Fisher, an old carnival owner who played around Ohio. 

    At the Carolina Fair in Charlotte, Hampton's daughter Kayla helped him operate the smoothie stand. From there, Amusements of America headed north to Virginia and New Jersey, where last week it was set up in Roebling, N.J. before hitting State Fair Meadowlands.

  • A Strong 2017 Event Encourages New CEO to Pursue New Arena Plans for Rodeo Austin; Crabtree Amusements renews contract
    Rainy days for two three weekends and a new, untested CEO might seem to be obstacles for the annual Rodeo Austin, but they were overcome with fresh changes to the event, including an expanded footprint on the grounds that included a craft beer tent, free music stage and more food vendors. The result? The annual celebration of all things Austin had a very strong year. 

    The success indicates that the fair has been effectively positioned for the future, whose plans include a new arena and other improvements. 

    Strong Year
    Attendance for the fair was about 258,000 which according to Rob Golding, CEO of the fair, "was a very strong year, "We were up about 8 percent in ticket sales and the carnival. No records were set, but it was a very strong year."

    Golding was recruited for the position in August of last year, with no fair experience but more than 40 years experience as a commercial real estate developer in Austin.  According to Golding, after an initial job search conducted by the board of directors, the parameters of the position were modified and Rodeo Austin stake holders looked towards their own back yard. "The bottom line is that they wanted to use the rodeo to build on events year-round, making us more relevant to the popular culture. We had seen continued improvement over the years, but we had sort of plateaued. We are looking to become more relevant and visible."

    Towards that goal, Golding's background certainly will prove instrumental. On the drawing board for Rodeo Austin is a multipurpose, enclosed area that will either replace or add onto the Travis County Expo Center. "Ultimately, our board decided what is needed the most is this new facility, and that played right into my background, and we will be pushing that very hard with the city and county, and finding a funding mechanism, and Rodeo Austin is the premier event."

    With an increase in attendance and spending, the fair seems on the desired course to show potential growth justifying that new facility. To bring in more people, the fair added attractions that reinforced the essential appeal of the event and modified the marketing of the fair to improve its community outreach.
    Music Capital
    Austin is the music capital of the world - which makes the fair a desired stop on many a music act's touring route - but it also means that there are dozens of other stages competing with Rodeo Austin. In addition to the many venues, festivals such as South by Southwest and even Texas events, such as the Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show, can also "hinder" booking. "You want to bring in a mixture of acts on their way up with classic acts, but it has gotten more expensive," he said. "Production costs have risen between 20-30 percent compared to recent years, and we were hamstrung by going directly head-to-head with other events."

    Technically, while this year's line up produced no sell-outs, several were standing room only. On the main stage, acts included:  Dwight Yoakum, Charley Pride, Elle King, Cole Swindell, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, Randy Rogers Band, Chase Bryant, Kenny Rogers, Neal McCoy, Josh Turner, Patti LaBelle, Old Dominion, Cody Johnson and Kevin Fowler. "Talent buying has become more difficult and it wasn't easier this year," he said."

    On the other hand - appealing to Austin's multitudes of music lovers - the free outdoor stage featured about 100 different acts - which provided added-value to the ticket price and ensured that in the live music capital of America music remains a crucial component to its annual rodeo. "We look at the outdoor stage as an incubator for a love of the younger acts, and they also bring in a new diverse audience as well. We were able to test drive a lot of groups that will soon be on their way up." 

    Strategic Placement
    The new outdoor stage was strategically located on the Northside of the grounds, next to the Craft Beer Garden and a Wine Tent, both new additions under Golding's leadership.  "We wanted to create an Austin-Festival like experience. We also wanted to give people more value for their ticket, even if they were not going to the paid rodeo and concert. We want to give them value, other entertainment choices and make the overall experience better." 

    Fair cuisine was augmented with the introduction of a dozen food trucks - which added to the approximately 70 food vendors, which included both independent food vendors as well as concessionaires subcontracting with Crabtree Amusements, the midway provider for Rodeo Austin. 

    As Golding explained, Food Trucks are "very much part of the culture in Austin, so seeing a food truck is very natural" to the fairgoer, he said. 

    The new appearance of the mobile dining option didn't upset the traditional fair food sellers, mainly because there was an overall increase in food vendors, as well as new Food & Beverage additions such as the Craft Beer garden. Golding also made sure that the "trucks were scattered throughout the fairgrounds. We have 128 acres and we really wanted to use our acreage in better ways. We didn't put the trucks in the middle of the midway, but near for instance, the show barn or the wild west show, where there really weren't any food options before." 

    Food trucks also brought a new energy and eccentricity to the food scene at the fair. "A local taco truck named El Cruz Ranch was extremely popular, as were the specialty burgers offered by Wagon Wheels. Mighty Cone, a local vendor, who offered fried chicken and avocado served in cones, all served out of a repurposed military vehicle," he said. "Coffee vendor Lucky Lab continues to be a popular stop as well, offering pastries, drip coffee and outstanding espresso beverages."

    He added. "Food spending was up. More vendors were offered, and the gross of the independent food vendors overall was up approximately 20 percent. More notably, alcoholic beverage consumption was up. Food and beverage is a key ingredient in any Austin event."  

    The Rodeo also marketed the fair differently, improving its outreach to diverse communities. "We pushed our marketing in different directions, and we used Spanish-language advertising for the first time. We used social media in more diverse ways, looking to get a larger Hispanic demographic as well as a younger demographic." 

    Crabtree Amusements
    The new marketing approach seemed to work. Crabtree Amusements had a record midway at Rodeo Austin, and Pat Crabtree noted that there was a very robust turnout by the area's massive Hispanic population.  "We had hear things weren't so good attendance-wise, that Hispanics were afraid of going to the fairs," he said. "People were scared, and those immigration raids sent shocks waves throughout the Hispanic community. But we didn't see any of that in Austin. It was a great event.  

    "Midway revenue was up, we had a great year," said Golding. "This was the second year for the midway to be orientated on the east side of the fairgrounds and it was very successful. The center of the midway is designated for children's rides, and the reception of this layout was positive."

    The Crabtree Amusements midway featured 56 rides.  New new rides including Super Nova 360, and a bigger Pirate Ship and three or four new kiddie rides, said Crabtree. The most popular rides were the Ferris Wheel and the carousel. 

    Rodeo Austin renewed its contract with Crabtree Amusements at this year's fair. "We had a record midway even though the first two weekends were a washout. But the new team at Austin really got on board with advertising and marketing. Their new promotions of the events really worked well."

    Unlike some events, Rodeo Austin struck him as forward looking and willing to change. "They came up with a new lot of new ideas, like wine tastings and food trucks. They are not wiling to keep doing the same old, same old. I expect this fair will grow even more in another couple of years, especially with the new arena that is planned." 

    For his first fair at the helm, Golding said "what surprised me most is how many different parts there are, but we have only a staff of 17, and we rely on more than 1,000 volunteers, who are very dedicated to the mission of the rodeo."

    With a new facility on the horizon and creating a festival atmosphere to augment the rodeo presentation, thinking outside the box seems the direction Rode Austin is unmistakably headed. "Don't be satisfied what you did last year, don't be complacent," he said. "Every single day you come to work, is a new day and I feel you must continue to reinvent yourself at every opportunity." 

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The Industry Buzz
Department of Homeland Security to Begin Processing H2B Visas
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has decided to issue a "limited number" of seasonal guest worker visas, the department announced Wednesday, though they still don't have a total and won't begin to issue them until late July.

The move offers a small amount of relief to seasonal businesses such as landscapers, summer resorts and seafood processors who have come to rely on foreign workers and who say they will be devastated without them.

But the department said the authority granted by Congress came so late that it's likely the number they issue will be relatively small, and probably far less than the approximately 70,000 visas Mr. Kelly could issue.

"We're doing the best we can given the short time frame," department spokesman Dave Lapan said.

Under the law 66,000 seasonal worker visas, divided in half between the winter and summer seasons, are supposed to be available for companies that cannot meet their workforce needs with Americans.

Congress has on occasion boosted the number of visas under what's known as the H-2B program, including in the spending bill that passed in May, which could have more than doubled the number of visas issued this fiscal year.

But lawmakers left the final decision to Mr. Kelly, who has criticized Congress for passing the buck.

He is now working with the Labor Department to come up with the exact number of visas his department can issue, and that are truly needed. Mr. Lapan said the visas will go to businesses where the lack of the foreign workers would hurt American workers who rely on them.

"He's committed to using this discretion that congress gave to go above the 66,000 cap. What that number will be remains to be determined," Mr. Lapan said.

Courtesy of the Washington Times.

  Posted by Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times on 6/21/2017
Jeff Miller Joins Fare Foods as Outside Sales Representative
Fare Foods, a leading outdoor amusement food service company, has announced the hiring of Jeff Miller as an Outside Sales Representative for the Southwest Region.  Jeff brings over 30 years of sales experience to his new role where he will be instrumental in expanding the Southwest Region.  Jeff's home and office will be based in the Dallas metro area. 

"Jeff brings numerous years of sales experience to his new position.  We are excited to have him on our team to further expand our Southwest Region," said Fare Foods President, Ron Porter.

Jeff's career in the outdoor amusement industry began in his early days as Production Manager for various carnival ride manufacturing companies then later transitioning into sales.  He traveled the country working with customers to design, install, and deliver amusement rides.  His impeccable skills resulted in an extremely successful career with his customers.  Jeff later accepted a role as Sales Manager for Chance Rides responsible for all carnival ride sales to U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  In addition to Jeff's new sales position with Fare Foods, he will continue to sell carnival rides for Chance Rides.  

"I am excited about the challenge to learn the inside row of the outdoor amusement industry versus the outside row.  I want to learn everything possible about the food supplied at the carnivals and fairs," Jeff said.  

Jeff's hobbies include working in his yard and watching sports as well as spending time and traveling with his family.

  Posted by Press Release on 6/15/2017
Lawrence Maturo Passes
Lawrence Maturo, 87, of Dawson Springs, KY passed away on Friday, June 2, 2017 at Baptist Health Madisonville.

He was born on May 12, 1930 in Chicago, IL. He was a self employed farmer and he and Lilly were owners of the Great American Carnival. They were considered pioneers of the Outdoor Amusement industry. In his spare time Lawrence enjoyed traveling, fishing, boating and loved spending time with his friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Mitchell Maturo; and his son, Larry Maturo.

Survivors include his sons, Ricky Maturo and wife, Kristene of Dawson Springs and Greg Maturo and wife, Edwina of Madisonville; daughter, Gayla Peach and husband, Harold of Dawson Springs; granddaughter, Sherrie Love and husband, Paul of Austin, TX; grandson, Shawn Maturo and wife, Amanda of Madisonville; several great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Hilda Brake and husband, Fred of Wood Dale, IL.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at Covenant Community Church in Madisonville with Dr. Michael Knight officiating. Harris Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Burial to follow at Dunn Cemetery in Dawson Springs.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour Tuesday at the church.
Pallbearers are Frank Davidson, Jerry Uzzle, Ricky Tapp, Shawn Maturo, Harold Peach, Jr. and Marvin Miller.

Condolences may be made to the family at

  Posted by Matt Cook / Obiturary on 6/5/2017
JKJ Workforce Agency is urging carnivals, fairs, festivals, suppliers, and anyone who is affiliated with the outdoor amusement industry to email the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor and urge them to begin processing H2B Visa Applications immediately. 

If you have your workers, if you do not have your workers, I urge you to continue to tell the "Big Truth" in emails both DHS and DOL, tell your story (again and again and again) and stress that every single day that you do not have your workers is a day that you lose $______, that your local sponsors lose $_______ and that your US and Foreign workers both lose.  Ask your suppliers, sponsors, fair boards, US Workers, friends and family to email and explain how this unnecessary delay has negatively affected all of you. Speak positively about your US Workforce, do not speak of any negatives (drug use, prefer benefits to work, etc.,) because that gets us nowhere.  Simply speak about the unique nature of your particular seasonal business and why with nearly full employment US Workers prefer year round jobs that do not involve the special circumstances (seasonality, travel, etc) of your job opportunity.  

Please email your requests to each of the following on a daily basis until the cap is raised:  Posted by JKJ Workforce / MCW on 6/2/2017
In our efforts to chronicle the history of our industry, we could think of no better way to further this endeavor than to interview industry pioneers and preserve their videos for posterity.

Belle City is NOW HIRING FOR 2017!  Ride Supers and Ride Foremen - Chance Giant Wheel Foreman - Electrician Wanted!  Call Zack: 321-578-0449 or 
Charles 407-399-1831

Browns Amusements is now hiring ride help, game help, food help, electrician, and CDL drivers for the 2017 season.  Call Danny at (602) 763-1617 for more info or visit

Call Chestnut Identity Apparel for all your amusement industry LED lighting and apparel needs.  Visit for more info.

BATTECH is an amusement ride manufacturer, producing popular rides such as the Cliff Hanger, Zero Gravity, Downdraft, and Super Slide.  Visit for more info.

ELI BRIDGE WHEEL FOREMAN WANTED - with a class A CDL.  Call Randy - 319-366-7357

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