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  • Deggeller Attractions rolls out 'Deggeller Academy 2.0'
    Deggeller Attractions has come full circle. The Stuart, Fla. carnival has formed a new traveling school for its employees' children, more than 20 years after the original Deggeller Midway Academy taught members of the Deggeller family.

    At that time, Andy Deggeller and his sister, Heidi Deggeller-Elsperman, the son and daughter of show owners Don and Kathy Deggeller, were among the students attending the original school. As the years went by, however, the school was dissolved because there were no school-age children traveling with the carnival, Elsperman said.

    That all changed in 2015 after the Deggeller kids grew up and had children of their own. For "Deggeller Midway Academy 2.0," as Elsperman describes it, there will be five to 10 students, including Heidi's three children and one of Andy's two kids.

    The daughter of Rob Myers, a new concessionaire and independent ride operator with Deggeller, and his significant other, Alieta Hopp, will also be attending the school.

    The academy's full-time instructor, Larry Knight, is a former truck driver and a Navy veteran who taught middle school in Florida and has a solid foundation in mathematics, a subject important to forming the curriculum for the school approved by the state of Florida, Elsperman said.

    The show will pay Knight's wages, supply the books and other materials required for instruction and provide a house trailer for the teacher. The school itself will take place in a converted living quarters. It will be similar to the layout of the original school with the exception of the computers now common in schools, she said.

    The school will run Wednesday through Sunday and be divided into sessions depending on age groups. For the most part, elementary and middle school age children will attend class from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Preschool and kindergarten age kids will be taught separately, Elsperman said.

    The season kicked off in early February at the Martin County Fair in Deggeller's hometown. Separately, Deggeller Food Service, a show-owned company, has already been out on the road. In late January, it ran five concessions stands at the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach.

    In March, the food operation will be booked at the Dade County Youth Fair in Miami. David Campbell, a longtime Deggeller employee, runs the independent food firm.

    The new academy is the biggest news for the show entering its 36th year of business. But the show has made some noteworthy ride acquisitions recently, starting with an SDC Hang Ten, a major piece similar to a Flying Bobs but with no top, she said. The same ride company made Deggeller's roller coaster.

    The Hang Ten made its debut at the 2014 Maryland State Fair in Timonium. It may be classified as a spectacular attraction due to its size and speed but the 42-inch height requirement makes it a good ride for families to enjoy, Elsperman said. Its high ride capacity of  64 with 32 two-person tubs, another plus, she said.

    In addition, Deggeller Attractions bought a new Cliffhanger from Battech complete with an LED light package. It was delivered in November. The carnival used to have a Cliffhanger but it was moved to another show through the Deggeller family, she said.

    Also late last season, the Deggellers purchased an Enterprise from the James H. Drew Exposition, one of two rides of the same name that were owned by show owner Jimmy Drew. Deggeller then featured its Enterprise at the Arkansas State Fair. It's one of Elsperman's personal favorites because it reminds her of the smaller version called the Galactica once owned by her late grandfather, Allen Deggeller.

    The show also bought two new Zamperla kiddie rides, a Happy Swing and a Baja Buggy, also known as a "jump-around," Elsperman said.

    At the IISF trade show in Gibtown, Deggeller purchased a new Fire Ball / Afterburner from KMG.  A delivery date has not yet been announced.

    Deggeller's route remains stable for 2015. Last year, the carnival picked up the Bradford County Fair in Starke, Fla. and a peanut festival in Elizabeth City, N.C.

    The State Fair of Virginia, a Deggeller mainstay for more than 30 years, got a shot in the arm after Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe was hired as the event's new manager. She came from the State Fair of West Virginia where she spent the last 25 years. Two years ago, she held the position of chairman for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.

    Pierson-Joliffe takes over at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va. more than three years after the state fair filed for bankruptcy at its old location, the Richmond International Speedway. By comparison, the newer site, a 300-acre property off the same exit as Kings Dominion theme  park off of I-95, is "breathtaking, a gorgeous piece of property," Elsperman said. The Virginia Farm Bureau now runs the state fair.

    "They bus people in from Richmond where the fair used to be," she said. "They're making it work. It took a couple years but they're getting back to the old location's numbers."

    There will be no increase in ticket prices for 2015. The show has a Twelve Buck Tuesday unlimited ride special to boost midway traffic midweek and does advance sales through Walgreens stores. Saturday armbands are $17 to $20 for county fairs and $20 to $25 for state fairs.

    "We work well with fairs and believe in a true partnership," Elsperman said. "We listen to each other and pay attention to the demographics and what people can afford. Keeping that in mid, we tend to cautiously raise our prices."

    The Maryland and Arkansas state fairs went well for Deggeller in 2014 although there was some bad weather in Timonium, Elsperman said.  

    Deggeller officials tend to look at fairs over a five-year period and by that measuring stick, those two events were right on par with past runs.

    The 2013 Arkansas State Fair was a record year so it was tough to top that performance, she said. Deggeller ran several weekday promotions to build attendance apart from the weekends.

    Andy and Heidi now primarily run the carnival with assistance from their parents. Andy's wife Jamie works the show office. She's the daughter of veteran game concessionaire Candy Anderson and has a strong history in the carnival business. Heidi's husband, Cliff Elpserman, is head electrician.

    "My parents are still around and they'll always be with us," Heidi said. "But they're content to be on the road a little less now so they can spend time with their grandkids and enjoy life."

    For several years, Deggeller Attractions has used international workers from Mexico and South Africa. Last year, for the first time, the show had its South African workforce try its hand at ride operations and it worked well, she said. In the past, those workers had concentrated on games and food due to the English language barrier faced by some Mexican nationals. The blending of those workers on the midway provides greater flexibility overall, Elsperman said.

    Overall, "our industry is certainly becoming more regulated because of the way things are with the government," she said. "It's tough ... but we're resilient. My brother is on the board of the OABA  and we're helping to fight these issues."

    The new general manager of the Canadian National Exhibition insists that to continue its success, this large, well-established fair cannot rest on its laurels.

     "I am very much looking forward to  bringing the CNE to the next level," said Virginia Ludy, in an excusive interview with Carnivalwarehous.come days after her promotion was announced. 

    The new skipper of Canada's largest fair - a one of the top 10 fairs in North America - and the first woman to hold the General Manager post in its 136 year history - possesses a proactive attitude towards change and an unbridled enthusiasm for the business in which she has spent her entire adult life. "I love the fair business, I love this event," she said. "The fairs that remain relevant are those willing to change." 

    Ex Love
    "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Ludy as the new General Manager of the CNE," said Brian Ashton, President of the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA). "Virginia Ludy knows 'The Ex', loves 'The Ex' and is best prepared to move this organization forward in these ever changing times."

    David Bednar, who served 17 years as General Manager of the CNE, unexpectedly announced that he was leaving the fair a few weeks following the conclusion of the 2014 event. The CNE is an 18-day August Fair that usually ends on the Canadian Labour Day.

    "Following the announcement last fall that the CNE's current General Manager David Bednar would be retiring in the spring of 2015, the CNEA Board engaged in extensive discussions taking into account a complexity of considerations as to how best to fill David's shoes," Ashton said.

    This search eventually led to looking at the organization's own in-house talent. "We were keenly aware of the need to mobilize our post-independence gains and stabilize our business environment, while at the same time greeting the future with enthusiasm and innovative thinking,"  he added,

    Remain Relevant
    Ludy's eagerness to think outside the box and find new ways to entice Toronto consumers to the CNE fits Ashton's  job description.  "We have to change to be relevant to our community," said Ludy. "Those fairs who use the same layouts every year, the same displays and exhibits and events, will not be the ones who survive, because today's  consumer is too demanding."

    Ludy's tenure with the fair spans more than three decades, having joined the CNE soon after graduating Ryerson University with a degree in Geography. She has, served as Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations for more than decade.  Ludy is currently President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE), the fair-industry's national association, a Director of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), and serves as Chairman of the Amusement Devices Advisory Council for Ontario's Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).  Industry designations earned by Ludy include: Certified Fair Executive (CFE) from the International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE), has completed and graduated from the Fair Institute Program, and has also successfully completed the Certified Exposition Manager (CEM) program with the Canadian Association of Exposition Managers (CAEM).

    During his tenure at the helm of the CNE, Bednar is credited for putting the fair on sound financial footing and in 2013, implemented the CNE's Strategic Plan, which transformed the event from a city agency to an independent non-profit fair, enabling revenue surpluses to be channeled back into fair operations.

    In 2014, the CNE conducted extensive market research, targeting new consumer groups and leading to a advertising and promotional makeover. These changes reinvigorated the fair, which has steadily increased in revenue, which Bednar estimated to be approximately 5 percent in 2014. 

    Strategic Plan
    As second in command, Ludy was part of the executive team that with Bednar, developed the Strategic Plan and subsequent marketing strategies. She played an instrumental in the rebirth of the CNE. "We implemented strategic planning, with goals and objectives,' she said. "Before then, the fair for years had been losing money, but we were able to turn it around and return those revenues back to the fair. We also improved the site and the look of the fair, and tied everything together, from the colors of the logo to the flower bed, creating a complete package and enhancing the look and content of the fair."  

    Even though the fair is more than six months away, Ludy is busy developing new content and other plans for the CNE, although she was reluctant to discuss what precisely is for the 2015 edition. "We are having meetings and are in the planning stages, I don't want to reveal all our secrets," she said. 

    However, what Ludy was more willing discuss was the development process of new programs. Ludy breaks down content into three categories: Stay, Add or Change. "There are things we have to maintain, that we need to protect, and there are some new programs we want to bring on board and we want to take some of our programs and repackage, so they look contemporary and appeal to fairgoers," she said. 

    Optimistic  Outlook
    In addition, the new realities of the Toronto metro-market must be taken into account.  "Toronto is an extremely competitive market, with not just venues but street festivals, parades, all sorts of things," she said "The market is very different than it was 20 years ago. We are not the only game in town so we face issues some smaller fairs do not." 

    The increased competition has made entertainment booking more challenging, but Ludy maintains an optimistic outlook. "As we move forward, we continue to evolve, and look at the challenges as opportunities, the challenge is recognizing those things that are unique to fair," she said. 

    While there are many content components unique to the fair, Ludy emphasizes that for this outdoor event experience to remain relevant in a rapidly changing 21st century marketplace, fair organizers must remain open minded on how to keep that uniqueness fresh. "Fairs are face to face, the experience is interacting with other people, that's the experience we provide" she said. "The difference for fairs today is how we present that experience. We can't be afraid to repackage content to make it more relevant to today's customers and changing markets."

    Part of creating a plan to repackage fair content is to observe what customers seem to respond to most, then expanding on those aspects of the program. She cited an example of a surfing exhibit of three or four years ago, "we saw shows like this and realized, that instead of having people just watch the demonstration, have them participate in the activity."

    She added, "I cast my eyes at Disney, who have had a daily parade for years, then  someone  decided to put lights on the floats and have a parade at night too, because so many people were at the park during that time. They took something that was traditional and popular, then repackaged to make it appealing to new customers too."

    The one component of the fair that has consistently worked, attaining a sold place at the CNE, is the carnival midway operated by NAME (North American Mid Midway Entertainment) which in 2014 featured 65 rides. "We have a great partner with NAME, the caliber of their staff, their rides, their customer service, is unsurpassed in the industry," she said. "When we were making improvements to the fair, NAME jumped on board. From a planning perspective, they are very involved with what we have planned for 2015." 

    Begun in 1879, the CNE - also known as The Ex - takes place on the vast, 197 acre Exhibition Place, a complex that features several facilities, including exhibition buildings, convention halls, a soccer stadium and the CNE band shell, where the paid admission concerts are held. The CNE is one of the highest attended fairs in North America, but also one of the largest, utilizing almost the entire campus and all the facilities of the immense Exhibition Place.  

    This vast space and long tradition certainly makes the CNE stand out among North American fairs, but Ludy points out it would be impossible to sustain growth by instituting change without an effective relationship between board and fair staff. The CNE is "fortunate to have an extremely supportive board, one that is willing to look at new ideas, to encourage change and to grow the event," she said "That is a real challenge in the industry, because a lot of fairs have boards that tie the hands of the fair staff. Our fair is different because we have a supportive board." 

  • Remembering Donnie Reid by Frank Zaitshik
    On Thursday, I received word I lost my friend Donnie Reid.  It is a sad day for Wade Shows and a great personal loss for me. 
    I wanted to share with you some of Donnie's life and what he meant to us because he was one of those very special individuals that have an enormous impact on our lives and businesses yet never shine the spotlight on themselves. 
    I could tell you about how Donnie served Wade Shows in many capacities 
    About how he was my partner in rides 
    About how he was the general manager of our 2nd unit for many years 
    Or about how he took on the Herculean effort of moving three carnival units across 14 states in his role as transportation manager. 
    In most cases, these efforts would mark a person's life, define who they were.  In Donnie's case, they were dwarfed by the most important part of him; the man he was and his effect on others. 
    Donnie had an uncanny ability to take people under his wing, mentor them and somehow bring out the best in them.  He never gave up on people and they, in turn, never gave up on him. 
    For those of you that know me, you can imagine how I would become impatient with an underperforming employee and be ready to have them move on.  Donnie would somehow see potential in these people, find something there that I never saw, and draw it out of them, transforming them into a valued team member.  I marveled at his ability to do this time and time again over the years. 
    Donnie was the rare person who was liked by everyone.  A stranger was a friend he hadn't met yet as the saying goes. 

    Donnie's house on the water was a sort of gathering place for Wade Shows management and staff.  Donnie and his incredibly supportive wife Peggy, would host my family and I for dinner almost every night in the winter before I moved to the Tampa area.  He would invite people over who would in turn invite others to join them.  Peggy welcomed the whole group, no matter how large, with open arms. 
    Make no mistake, Donnie was a skilled leader, but he did so from the middle of the pack and he did it quietly,very effectively and with great humility. 
    While I was out front leading the charge, Donnie had my back, rallying the troops and positioning them with grace and efficiency for the ambitious tasks I had laid out. 
    Another of Donnie's great traits is that he always told the truth, even if it reflected poorly on him or even the people he loved. 
    I don't know much about mechanics, but I knew I could go to Donnie when others might be recommending a new purchase or a costly repair.  He would always give me a straight answer that served the company's best interest.  "Frank I think we can fix this" he would say or he would let me know a new part was our best alternative. In either case, I knew I could count on his judgement. 
    In the first few years of Donnie's employment with the show, he took a spectacular ride I was ready to junk on the advice of some of my staff and turned it into the best rides on the show at the time.  After a quarter century, the Polar Express is still one of my top rides and has made the show hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.  Donnie was that type of guy. 
    Donnie was a third generation showman.  His grandfather John Reid owned Happyland Shows and he was the patriarch of Michigan carnivals.  John's sons Jerry (Donnie's father) and Bob took over the show but after a series of events, the show had to fold.  Jerry and Donnie joined Arthur Lamkin with a Skee Ball and arcade and Jerry, a pilot, flew Lamkin's plane and helicopter. 
    In 1983, my 3rd year of owning Wade Shows, Jerry came over in a management capacity.  I immediately saw great potential in Donnie but the Reids left after a year to go to Arnold Amusements. The following year, Donnie came back as partner in the Polar Express and he never left. 
    I used to kid Donnie about having bad genes.  He had heart attack in the mid-2000s, his light skin led him to go to the dermatologist often to treat skin anomalies, he had high cholesterol and blood pressure as well as bouts with gout.  Through it all, he never complained and worked each day with 100% effort. 
    Last year, the cancer came on quick.  He was having trouble keeping food down at the Oklahoma State Fair but told me it was just "indigestion".  As I went east and he stayed with the other unit, I got reports that he was losing weight and getting sick often.  His wife and friends urged him to go home, but Donnie being Donnie, he stayed on through the end of the season.     
    At home, he went to the Moffett Center and they found a massive tumor near his esophagus that was causing his inability to keep food down.  Unfortunately, the tumor had metastasized, spreading throughout his body but Donnie underwent chemo treatments in a last ditch effort to save himself. 
    Donnie still came to winterquarters 2-3 times a week during his treatments to oversee the building of a new office.  He also came to the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach but had to stay inside his trailer.  I talked by phone with Donnie in Tampa where we were undertaking our most ambitious project yet with the Florida State Fair midway.  I was hoping he was well enough to make the trip to Tampa so I could give him a tour of all we had done and show him how his efforts over the years were essential to us being able to do what we did in Tampa. 
    Unfortunately, his health did not permit him to make the trip. 
    Donnie was selfless to the end, putting his heart and soul into Wade Shows, the employees he mentored and his friends and family. His wife Peggy and family continue to work on the show, carrying on his legacy.   

    All of us at Wade Shows and our extended family owe him a great debt of gratitude His life had an enormous positive impact on a countless number of people and I put myself at the top of that list. 
    Rest in Peace Donnie 


    For more information, click here.
  • Tennessee State Fair:  Showcasing the best
    It's tough to compete with all of Nashville's excitement.  However, the Tennessee State Fair has more than managed to do so for 108 seasons.  Fair Manager Scott Jones explained that everyone "from Bob Hope to presidential candidates" have enjoyed this fair's sterling qualities. 

    Jones added, "Our fair used to be run by the state.  From the 1930s until 2009, it went over to the metro government.  The non-profit Tennessee State Fair Association began running it in 2010. Most of our past records are still in the state and metro archives.  We intend to do some digging around for descriptions of some old-time highlights."

    Showcasing Local Talent 
    The Tennessee State Fair especially prides itself on discovering and showcasing local talent.  This year's 10th Annual Karaoke Showdown went by this motto:  "You might not be a big country star, but that doesn't mean you can't sing like you are."

    The Karaoke Showdown offered monetary awards for 1st place ($500), 2nd place ($250) and 3rd place ($150).  Preliminary rounds were held for the first nine consecutive nights of the fair; then the top two from each of these rounds were invited back to compete one last time.

    Jones added, "Our Moosic Stage (near the Dairy Parlor) featured top regional and local acts such as Wanna Beatles and the Tennessee State University Band.  This stage was right in the middle of our food court, and people often got up to dance.  We've had artists there that went on to achieve some stardom; one was young Taylor Ware, a yodeler who became the runner-up on America's Got Talent."

    Plenty of 'Edutainment'
    Around every bend, there seemed to be something that was not only entertaining, but also quite educational.  Monday and Tuesday were designated as Field Trip Days in which children were "able to tour a variety of FUN STATIONS."  The fair's website states that these stations were "filled with learning interactions about agriculture, sciences and technology."

    Marketing and Event Manager Kinsey Emery said, "We started a few new educational initiatives this year.  We're essentially in downtown Nashville where fewer and fewer individuals have been exposed to the agricultural lifestyle.  Our daily FFA 'Ag' tours were therefore very well received."  

    The Tennessean described these 'Ag' tours in the following manner:  "Future Farmers of America student members will take fairgoers on a tour of the barns to see various livestock, cow milking, a working bee hive, displays of fall produce such as gourds and pumpkins, as well as the rabbit barn, swine barn, etc." 

    Fairgoers also had the educational opportunity to experience "international entertainment such as African drumming, Hispanic music and performances by local groups from the Kurdish, Chinese and Filipino communities on the Cultural Arts Stage daily through the fair."

    A Great Deal  
    The Tennessean had nothing but praise for what a great deal the 2014 fair was.  The columnist "Ms. Cheap" wrote, "Heck, you could easily spend less going to the fair than you would if you went out for a movie night...  I mean, where else could you go for as little as $5 and witness racing pigs, a dog agility show, some cowboy trick riding and roping, a mule pull, a sheep show, celebrity cow milking demonstrations, a parade, and lots of mini concerts... all in one place."

    Jones mentioned some popular ground acts which were included in the gate admission.  He stated, "People especially loved Hendrick's Racing Pigs and the Kenya Safari Acrobats.  The crowds just continued to gather for the acrobats every time they performed.  Their bleachers were filled during almost every show, so we're looking to add bigger bleachers next year." 

    The Flying Houndz Frizbee Trick Dog Show and Wade Henry "The High Roller" were also real crowd pleasers.  According to the fair's website, Wade Henry "features comedy juggling, tall unicycling, fire eating, balancing, music and plenty of audience participation."

    Midway Memories 
    Scott Jones said that North American Midway Entertainment has been providing the carnival since 2009.  Billed on its website as "the largest traveling outdoor amusement park in the world," the company is based in Farmland, Indiana.  Jones said, "This year we had a White Water Flume Ride that seemed to be a bit hit, and the Super Himalaya always draws some of the biggest crowds."

    As for food, Jones waxed eloquently about the Deep-Fried Goo Goo.  He said, "It was the first candy bar here in Nashville that had mixed ingredients, so we embraced that tradition and deep-fried it on a stick." 

    Then there was the Pineapple Whip.  Jones explained that this extremely popular frozen dessert was missing for the first stretch of operating days because "the vendor had an auto accident."  

    When a substitute vendor arrived, fairgoers responded heartily.  Pineapple Whip is located in Springfield, Missouri.  Licensing rights are currently being handled by Island Whip, Inc.

    Summing Up    
    All in all, 2014 was a good year for the Tennessee State Fair.  Jones explained, "Our attendance at the gate was up, even though our advance-promotion ticket sales were down.  We had 106,663 last year; this year will probably total 109,000 or 110,000 when all the numbers come in."

    Emery added, "In past years we purchased ads from radio, TV, etc.  This year we sat down with our media company in order to strategize how to get these stations to partner with us.  We then met with every radio and TV company in Nashville, and put the ball in their court by asking what they could give us in terms of value for money spent."

    Both are looking forward to another successful year in 2015.  Jones stated, "We're continuing to grow, and we're here to showcase Tennessee's best industries and education.  That's our main focus."

    Emery concluded, "The value that a family receives by visiting our fair is outstanding.  You really get a bang for your money in the form of entertainment, educational exhibits, kids' competitions, etc.  There's certainly a whole lot to do and see at the fair for very little money."

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HEADLINES from the web
Wade Shows
San Antonio Livestock Show
San Antonio, TX
2/12/2015 - 3/1/2015
Wade Shows
San Antonio Livestock Show
San Antonio, TX
2/12/2015 - 3/1/2015
Strates Shows
Osceola County Fair
Kissimmee, FL
2/13/2015 - 2/27/2015
Belle City Amusements
FL Strawberry Fest
Plant City, FL
2/26/2015 - 3/8/2015
Wade Shows
Central FL Fair
Orlando, FL
2/26/2015 - 3/8/2015
Reithoffer Shows
The Southwest Flordia Fair
Fort Meyers, FL
2/26/2015 - 3/8/2015

IAAPA Attractions Expo - Orlando, FL
[more info..]

2014 TOP 50 FAIRS
1. Texas State Fair - Dallas, TX
2. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo - Houston, TX
3. Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN
4. San Antonio Livestock Show & Ex. - San Antonio, TX
5. Eastern State Exposition

View Top 50 Fairs

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The Industry Buzz
Lionel Miller Passes
Long time concessionaire Lionel Miller passed away on February 22, 2015.  Lionel was the youngest of eight siblings. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Barbara, and two daughters Gina and Cheryl. Lionel was preceded in death by his son, also named Lionel. Barbara and Lionel were married on New Years Eve and their grandson Ronnie followed suit and got married on New Years Eve also. Lionel and Barbara have eleven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and friend.

Lionel served his country proudly in the ARMY and was one of the select few to serve as a guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington VA. Lionel also had the honor to escort Mimi Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth. Lionel joined his brother's circus "The Paul A Miller Circus" which was the first combined circus and carnival. Lionel owned food and game concessions, traveling with Reithoffer Shows for over 30 years and serving as concession manager for about 9 of those years. Through the many years in his career, Lionel made numerous life long friends. He was always sharply dressed and a first class guy. Just to interject some of my own opinion, but when first meeting Lionel you have to be impressed by the man. His stature was impressive and his confidence would exude from his stride as he walked and his voice when he spoke. I'm a pretty big guy with good sized hands and a firm grip, but when Lionel would shake your hand, you knew he was shaking your hand.

As Lionel let go of his earthly bounds and raced towards the Heavens, the "Field of Greats" has narrowed by one. He will be loved, cherished and greatly missed by many. May God bless you and be with you always.

Service for Lionel A. Miller will be held 11 AM Thursday the 26th at Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals.
326 East Orange Ave. Eustis FL. 32726
  Posted by Matt Cook / Obituary on 2/26/2015
Wade Shows purchases new Zyklon Coaster
Frank Zaitshik announced the purchase of a brand new Zyklon Roller Coaster from Interpark of Italy.  The new coaster will replace the shows existing Pinfari Crazy Cat Coaster (Zyklon).  The new Zyklon is the exact same size and track configuration as the one which it replaces.  The new coaster is scheduled to be delivered August 1.

Interpark, an Italian company, purchased the assets of the Pinfari Coaster company in 2007 after the company declared bankruptcy.  Interpark is currently producing some of the coaster models that were acquired from Pinfari including the Zyklon in addition to Interpark's original coasters.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/24/2015
Donnie Reid of Wade Shows passes
It is with great sadness to report Reid, Donald E. "Donnie", 59 of Land O' Lakes, FL passed away Thursday, February 19, 2015.  He was born in Bradenton, FL and worked for W.G. Wade Shows for the last 30 years.  Donald is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Peggy, two daughters, Michelle Reid Whitman and husband, Ryan and Melinda Reid; brothers John Reid and Mike Reid; sister Tamra Reid; and grandchildren Dylan, William and Robbie.  A funeral service will be held at 10am on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at Loyless Funeral Home in Land O' Lakes, FL.  The family will receive friends from 6-8pm on Monday evening at Loyless Funeral Home.  Interment will be at Sunset Gardens, Thonotosassa, FL.
  Posted by Matt Cook / Obituary on 2/20/2015
Skerbeck Entertainment Purchases KMG Inversion

Sonja & Jamie Skerbeck's Skerbeck Entertainment announced the purchase of a KMG Inversion at the Gibtown Trade Show.  The piece is scheduled for delivery in the late fall of 2015.  KMG is typically booked solid for delivery at least one year in advance, however, a showman in Europe canceled his order and Skerbeck was able to take advantage of the situation and fill that delivery spot.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/13/2015
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.


TYAUT Designs - Lap Bar Refurbishment & Grip Bars

Reithoffer Shows is now hiring a show electrician, giant wheel foreman, and interviewing ride foremen for other rides.  Please call 863-581-5334 or visit

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

Harley Concessions is seeking IMMEDIATE HELP for games including balloon store, bank a ball, beer bash, and more.  Call Terry at 502-404-1401.

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