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  • Keith Urban & Niche Events Spur Nebraska State Fair Attendance Jump
    The Nebraska State Fair followed a good year by a better year. Fair organizers claim attendance jumped 21 percent over last year's fair, perhaps the largest increase in year-to-year attendance of any North American fair in 2015. 

     In 2014, the fair had an attendance of at 334,931, including several record attendance days, but this year's growth is a highpoint for this tradition that dates back to 1859, before Nebraska was even a state. 

    What seems to be the main catalyst spurring this growth was booking Keith Urban - a rare fair stop for the country legend this summer - but Joseph McDermott, Executive Director, also cites a series of smaller but successful events within the events - such as an actual Marathon and other exclusive competitions of athleticism and skill - that thickened crowds for this annual Cornhusker State tradition.

    Best Since Move
    In 2010, the fair changed its  location to Grand Island, "and this was the best fair by far in Grand Island," said McDermott. "All our revenue numbers were up and from that standpoint and very successful. We introduced new activities and moved our concert from an indoor arena, which seats about 5,300 to an open space on the infield of our race course."

    This move from indoor to open-air venue essentially doubled the attendance for the show, which sold about 11,700 tickets and contributed heavily to the outpouring of attendance, which reached beyond the usual destination marketing area. According to fair reporting, the Omaha metro accounted for 1,088 concertgoers while Lincoln's contributed 734.  The tri-cities of Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney contributed 3,564. Overall ticket sales came from 28 states and three foreign countries
    Other concerts included: Tony Orlando (the featured performer for two shows on  Older Nebraskan's Day); News Boys;  Huey Lewis and the News;  Terry Fator and Jake Owen, who closed the fair. 

    The most effective promotions, according to McDermott, were price discounts - a $2 Tuesday and $3 Thursday - which lowered the admission costs to $2 or $3, respectively, but the savings only began with the entrance discount. "A number of food and beverage and merchandise deals for the respective prices each of these days as well," he said. "The Midway also participated with rides at $2 and $3."

    Another discounted promotion encouraged more weekday traffic during early afternoon hours. "The Weekday Lunch Special encourages locals to come out to the fair for lunch," he said. "Guests receive refund for their admission when they come and go between 11:30 - 1:30 Monday through Friday."

    But just as sustaining the success of the admission discounts with the $2 and $3 entrances depended upon other sectors of the fair getting into the price reduction spirit, with the Weekday Lunch Special program, "Many Concessions offer a lunch special, many try to get in the $5.00 range for a food and beverage combo," said Shaun Schleif, Marketing & Sponsorship Director.

    New Marketing
    The fair has an advertising budget of $300,000, which according to Schleif, was broken down to Print: 25 percent; Digital: 25 percent; Outdoor 10 percent, with Radio and other being the remaining 40 percent. 

    "We are moving more towards digital," said McDermott. "The move from print has been very successful. With Keith Urban we were marketing through digital and radio. With those kinds of concerts, we are moving more towards that cross marketing."

    The fair also hired a new marketing firm "that placed a new emphasis on digital marketing," said McDermott. "We did not have the technological knowledge or experience to get it accomplished ourselves. We are able now to grab the interest of the individual through direct advertising to them online and through their Facebook page."

    Where's the Beef
    The Nebraska State Fair had 58 independent food vendors, plus an additional 10 concessions by Wade Shows, with revenue up about 12 percent, basically in line with the attendance increase, said Schleif.  The fair supports its tradition and livestock industry. The leading vendor by far - according to Schleif (the revenues of this beef emporium is more than double those of number two) the Nebraska Cattlemen's Beef Pit. "Their prime rib dinners and sandwiches are an annual tradition for many of our livestock exhibitors and fair guests," said Schleif. " The Beef Pit is run by volunteers as a fund raiser for the Nebraska Cattlemen's Association.  Lines creep outside these kitchen and dinning room doors daily 

    Schleif pointed out that a perennial Nebraska State Fair food favorite, Pineapple Whip, almost didn't make it to this year, but fast thinking and new contracting turned a near calamity into a sales boom. According to Schleif, all was not copacetic last year when it came to Pine Whip and Nebraska. "In 2014, we started to find challenges with our established provider," he said. "In 2015, we made a break from that provider rather last minute.  We found a current, reputable vendor who figured out how they could add the product to their menu in a short time. The vendor who added the product was up 169 percent from the 2014 Fair.  There was a mild adjustment to their set up that contributed to their revenues being up as well, but a great portion of their newest clientele were standing in line for the every popular, must have it once a year, Pineapple Whip." 
    New twists on fair cuisine were showcased in the fair's "New & Unique Food Contest," including: Double Bacon Corn Dog, Fried Spam on a Stick, Pork Stickers and Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake, although taking home 1st and 2nd Place were the Tumbleweed Burger and the Willy Wonka Burger, respectively.

    Record Midway
    The Wade Show Midway featured 40 rides, including "the Fighter ride, which is the only one of its kind in North America, the White Water Flume Ride, which is always a favorite in Nebraska and switched our Mulligan Wheel this year with our Giant Wheel, to great success and we brought in the Screamer."

    All told, Zaitshik said he brought five new rides, with special attention also paid to Kiddieland, including the new additions: Monster Truck Ride from Wisdom Rides, the Beach Shack by Zamperla Rides and an Umbrella Hummer by Dalton Rides. "We have made a conscious effort to grow our Kiddieland," said Zaitshik. "Nebraska does a really nice job with their fairgrounds and how they present the midway and we saw an opportunity for growth in the Kiddieland at Nebraska." 

    For Wade Shows, it was the third year at the Nebraska State Fair. "We had a record year," said Frank Zaitshik, Wade Shows president.. "We missed our goal by inches, due to some rain on the last Sunday, but we are really happy with the Nebraska State Fair and happy with the relationship we've built with the fair." 

    He added, "word is spreading about rides and about the fair. We have 60 percent growth over the three years, we've grown by leaps and bounds. You can't keep up that level of growth, but we have reached a level where we can grow in increments at the fair."

    At the Nebraska State Fair, Wade Shows also introduce an upgrade on their pre-fair sales program. "We enhanced the operation of our advanced sales," said Zaitshik. "We now offer the Mega Pass for the entire week.  They can upload their information and print their ID ahead of time. It cuts the wait time for Mega Pass customers, they don't have to wait in lines and the lines get shorter. It's a customer benefit." 

    For Wade Shows, a record year only makes the company more ambitious. "The beat goes on, we don't sit on our laurels and we continually try to improve the product," said Zaitshik. "Today's public has a lot of competition for their entertainment dollar, and that hasn't leveled off, so we continue with our eyes wide open and our ears to the ground, to keep finding things that are new and different and how to keep making this company better."  

    Niche Events
    Snagging a Keith Urban means a marquee event for any fair's annual edition, but McDermott also cultivates the niche marketing approach to the fair with smaller events that engender loyal followings and bring new populations to the fair. It was the second year for State Fair Marathon, which is a full marathon (26 miles), and now a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Participation grew 47 percent, from 530 to 860. The fair also hosted a Firefighters Challenge and a Utility Linemen Challenge, where teams from those professions compete. "We had one of the largest spectator crowds that we've seen in a long time," said McDermott.

    He acknowledges that these new events fit into the community-oriented, pro-family atmosphere and ties into the health and fitness awareness that is not just a popular cultural trend, but helps counteract the image of the fair being just about deep fried, high-calorie concoctions. "A couple of years we tried bringing in aerobics with a sponsorship by a local health club, which tried to get fairgoers to exercise at the fair, and that didn't go over well," he said. "There is a major trend towards healthy activities and the fair can be a main driver for that trend, and the marathon and challenges promote that."

    The niche marketing aspect also is a crucial factor. "We introduce new people to the fair, those 860 runners all brought their family and friends to cheer them on and watch them compete the same is true for the firefighters and linemen, and it creates a lot of buzz," said McDermott.

    The ironic aspect of the Nebraska State Fair buzz is that creating it happens on a wide scale - like having the leading Country Music superstar and legend perform - and on a small but effective scope, having an event that will increase attendance by more modest multiples. Paying attention to the big and smaller numbers is a workable strategy by the simple fact, all numbers, no matter their size add up. "It's not just about who participates, but those participants the event will bring in," said McDermott. "Our attendance was up 20 percent, and we had a lot of buzz, and that buzz was from Keith Urban and other performers as it was from people in the community who knew firefighters or marathon runners. People kept hearing about the fair in many ways. They had to come to the Nebraska State Fair." 

    According to fairgoers, the combination of superstars, community events and fair traditions of unique cuisine and midway rides results in widespread positive outcomes.  "With the marked increase in attendance we are staying on track with keeping all of our fairgoers happy," said Ed Kruse,  Chairman of the Nebraska State Fair Board. "Each year we survey our fair guests and use the data to adjust what we do to enhance the fairgoer experience. As an example, those taking the survey gave us a 4.5 out of five points for family friendliness, and 4.5 out of 5 points saying this year's fair is even better than 2014."  

    He added, "The number we keep a close eye on is the likelihood of those who have attended the fair to enthusiastically refer the Nebraska State Fair to friends and neighbors.  Right now, 88 percent of fair attendees are likely or very likely to refer the Nebraska State Fair to others and we are very excited about that." 

  • IAAPA Expo 2015:  Friday Highlights
    The 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo came to a close on Friday, attracting over 21,200 qualified buyers to the trade show floor.   Of the 21,200 buyers in attendance, 13,400 people participated in 114 education programs which included multiple-day institutes and symposia, behind-the-scenes EDUTours at area attractions, panel and roundtable discussions, and constituency lunches.  Overall, the trade show pumped an estimated $51.3 million into the Orlando economy.   

    Bobs Space Racers
    Bob Cassata's Bob's Space Racers had an impressive display taking up several large booth spaces within the convention center.  When asked about the trade show, Cassata reported "the trade show has been great". 

    BSR produces games for the carnival and park industry as well as coin operated games for the family entertainment center industry.  New on display for the carnival and park sector were two new versions of the company's popular water race games.  Both were updated with new components, led lighting, new graphics, and increased the height of the games to make them more appealing. 
    This year, BSR introduced a home version of four of the company's midway games called Master of the Midway.  The idea is to educated consumers about carnival games and how they work to try and overcome the stereotype that carnival games are not winnable and don't give out prizes.  The take home kit has four games in it - Cover the Spot, Bottle Up, Goblet Toss, and a Ring Toss.  With the kit, you are able to learn about the games and practice before going to the fair or amusement park.  

    Master of the Midway also has a social media component.  On the Master of the Midway Facebook/Instagram page, players are encouraged to go to the carnival or amusement park, play a game, and post a photo of them with their prize to Facebook/Instagram.  To encourage patricipation, BSR will choose a photo at random and award that individual with an additional prize.

    Master of the Midway is available online at  BSR hopes to have them in stores soon.  

    BSR also has a mobile division that plays several fairs with North American Midway Entertainment and the Minnesota State Fair on the independent midway.  Cassata said "At our Canadian spots, the Canadian dollar being down hurt a little, but the season was very good for us.  I have no complaints on the season."

    CMD Enterprises
    Chad Griffith's CMD Enterprises was busy showing off some of its latest and greatest LED products.  CMD has had a lot of success selling pre-programmed LED modules (and turbo units) in a 1-16 style version.  The company also offers solid color units and replacement 110v LED bulbs.  

    New for 2015/2016 is a prism shaped LED bulb that's designed to achieve the same amount of light as a premium LED, but offered at a better price.  As the surface mounted diodes hit the prism, the light is magnified.  The light output is equivalent to the old premium LEDs, but more affordable.  

    CMD offers a 2-year warranty on all its products.

    Chad hinted at a completely new product that would be released soon, but would not yet comment on any details.

    Mulligan Engineering
    Dennis Travoli announced a new partnership between he and Gibsonton (FL) based Mulligan Engineering.  The company which had not produced amusement rides in the last 10 years is back in business and already has two major rides in production.  The company is currently building a brand new Sea Ray for Stevie Ianni, who travels with Strates Shows.  They are also working on a new 1.5 trailer Giant Wheel for Matt McDonagh's Big Rock Amusements.  

    Mulligan Engineering's staple rides include the 80ft tall Giant Wheel, which is transported on one main load and a 28ft pup trailer for the tubs.  The company also introduced a single trailer Giant Wheel which Travoli described as "Affordable" with pricing in the $650,000 range.  Over the years, the company also produced a handful of Sea Rays and several swing rides.

    Travoli hinted that the company may have a booth at this February's IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton.

    IAAPA 2016
    As part of a multi-year agreement, the 2016 IAAPA Attractions Expo will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.  The expo is scheduled for November 14-16, 2016 and has reported that over 200 exhibitors have already signed up to participate, which is slated to be the largest show to date.  

    For the amusement industry, the next social gathering takes place during the IAFE/SLA Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, November 26 - December 2, 2015 followed by the IISF Trade Show & Extravaganza in Gibtown February 9-13, 2016.

    2015 IAAPA Expo Media Coverage

  • IAAPA Expo 2015:  Thursday Highlights
    Thursday marked the busiest day of the 2015 IAAPA Expo in Orlando.  The trade show floor was well represented by members of all facets of the amusement industry - with a wide variety of show owners, managers, and concessionaires in attendance.  Historically, Thursday is one of the busiest days followed by a slow final day on Friday.

    Galaxy Amusement Sales
    One of the most impressive booths showcasing LED lighting belonged to Galaxy Amusement Sales, who represents the Chameleon line of LED lighting.  Nestled into the far back corner of the trade show was one of the brightest booths on the trade show floor that could be seen from rows away.  Company co-owner Scott Kunz was on hand showing off some of the company's latest and greatest LED components.  "Chameleon is an innovative company that's always coming up with new products every year.  They usually set the standard in the industry and most of their competitors follow suit and copy them," said Kunz.

    A new product available from Galaxy is Chameleon's Easy LED Fixture, which is a 48 diode, 360 degree surface mounted module.  The Easy LED Fixture comes in a variety of options and can be custom programmed or available in a pre-programmed module.  The module is approximately 2 inches wide by 12 inches long and can be seen from all angles through the faceted lens, creating an effect similar to a turbo cap.

    One of Galaxy's mainstay LEDs is the single color module which is available in multiple colors and voltages.  "What separates our single color modules from the rest is that ours have colored diodes behind the lens so the colors are more profound, as compared to having a white led behind a red lens.  Our modules have red leds behind a red lens, green leds behind a green lens, and so on," said Kunz.  Currently, Galaxy carries six different sizes of single color modules and plans to make a big push in 2016 with some different programmable modules.

    Another eye catcher at the Galaxy display was large circular LED lit sign for the fast food giant, Burger King.  "Burger King has a contract overseas with Chameleon and we decided to show the signs at the show.  So far, they have been very popular and we are building four signs for customers for the Gibtown trade show," Kunz said.  The round signs have a digitally printed logo on the surface, with small pixel shaped LEDS drilled through the sign.  The signs would be perfect for a show or park that wanted to revitalize their Giant Wheel center hub decoration.

    A non-lighting product that has been well received this year is Galaxy's truss system.  The truss system was used by several concessionaires on the west coast as well as Beau Pugh at the New Mexico State Fair.  With the truss system, concessionaires can turn an ordinary concession stand into a large stand with large custom banners and lighting.  "The custom truss system was very well received on the west coast.  Concessionaires need to come up with something different and interesting and the truss system will give them the type of impact you want to make," said Kunz.  The concessionaires who used the new trusses, reported that they were able to recuperate their investment at just one event. 

    Kunz said his company plans to have a full booth at the IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton this February.  "We will have more products on display then at IAAPA," Kunz said of Gibtown.  Galaxy plans to have a full truss system on display, its full line of LED product, and various amusement supplies.  Galaxy will showcase a wide selection of 8' waterproof LED tube lights in a variety of colors.

    Owen Trailers
    Fun House builder Owen Trailers had an informational booth set up on the trade show floor.  Company owner Ross Owen reported several sales were in the works for new fun houses based on the Wacky Shack design, but was not ready to make any official announcements as of Thursday morning.  The company has been busy at its Riverside, California shop refurbishing a line of bunkhouses for Ray Cammack Shows and converting a trailer to an employee office.  They are also working on a fun house with a custom theme for Chicago based Fantasy Amusements.   Owen said his company will be exhibiting in Gibtown this February and hopes to have a fun house on display at the show, depending on logistics.

    Wade Shows
    In a previous interview with Wade Shows President Frank Zaitshik, it was reported that the company would be investing up to $3 million in new equipment purchases for the 2016 season.  Zaitshik was on the trade show floor doing just that.   At the close of the show on Thursday, Zaitshik was proud to announce several new purchases.

    Chance Rides will be completing its first Zipper overhaul to Wade Shows Zipper.  Chance will gut the entire ride, repaint, repair and replace components, integrate a new LED lighting package, and install new open face tubs for a new ride experience.  "I have all the confidence in the world that this Zipper will be as close as you can get to a new Zipper without it being brand new.  In Tulsa this year, the Zipper was the top requested ride out of all the rides that we owned," said Zaitshik.  Initial plans are for the refurbished Zipper to debut at the Florida State Fair in Tampa this February.

    A new piece for the show will be a brand new Zero Gravity from Battech which will premiere at the Florida State Fair.  The company also bought a new set of spider tubs with a metal flake finish and plans to completely retheme the ride.

    Zaitshik said he was still in negotiations with other manufacturers on additional purchases.  When asked if a rumor about purchasing the largest portable wheel in North America was true, Zaitshik smiled and said "we will keep you posted".

    Friday at 4pm marks the conclusion of the 2015 IAAPA Expo.  Keep posted to for continued coverage of the show.

    2015 IAAPA Expo Media Coverage

  • IAAPA Expo 2015:  Wednesday Highlights
    The second day of the 2015 IAAPA Expo featured an increase in trade show traffic from opening day.  The trade show opened at 10am to sparse crowds, but the show floor quickly filled up throughout the day. 

    Rides 4-U
    One of the largest trade show booths belonged to Len Soled's New Jersey based Rides 4-U.  Rides 4-U occupied a large space inside the trade show building and additional space in the outdoor exhibit area.  Inside, Rides 4-U showcased a new compact spinning roller coaster from SBF/Visa called the Triple Spinner Coaster.  The Triple Spinning Coaster is a slightly larger version of the Compact Spinning Coaster that was on display at the 2013 and 2014 trade shows.  Compared to the Compact Spinning Coaster, the Triple Spinning Coaster features a larger track layout with three spirals compared to two on the compact version.  Due to its size, the Triple spinning Coaster is only available as a park model, however the smaller Compact Spinning Coaster is available as both a portable model mounted on a road legal 53ft trailer and also a permanent park model.  The first Triple was sold to Beach Bend Amusement Park in Bolingreen, Kentucky.  

    Outside, Rides 4-U showcased a racked version of the Compact Spinning Coaster, which is being delivered to New England based Fiesta Shows.  Soled reported "We have a few more coaster deals in the works, but nothing set in stone yet.  So far, the show has been very strong".

    Another new piece on display is an interactive family ride called the Drift Race, also built by SBF/Visa.  The Drift Race is a larger version of the classic Eyerly Midge-O-Racer, but features full size cars that adults can fit in comfortably.  One rider in the car can steer the back wheels and make the car kick out as it rounds the circular track.  The other rider can shoot at targets on the back of the ride vehicles.  Riders know who won each ride by the four indicator lights in the middle of the ride.  The Drift Race on display is built as ground model; however, Soled reports that a portable version is in the works.

    Company sales representative Peter Theunisz was busy meeting with existing clients about upcoming ride deliveries and new prospective clients on future ride sales, but had no IAAPA related sales to report as of Wednesday morning.  Theunisz, however, was happy to announce a handful of orders that were placed prior to the show.  Among the US carnival purchases was an X-Factory, purchased by Mike Demas with a delivery date slated just before the Minnesota State fair during August of 2016.  Demas' X-Factory will mark the second X-Factory in the US, with the first being owned by Drew Exposition.  Other upcoming deliveries include an Inversion to Peachtree Rides with a May of 2017 delivery; a Fireball/Afterburner being delivered to Talley Amusements in December of 2016; an Inversion to Crescent City Amusements in September of 2016; and a Fireball/Afterburner that was sold during 2015 Gibtown Trade Show to Deggeller Attractions.

    Theunisz, who also represents Lamberink BV, a Dutch Giant Wheel manufacturer, reported that the company is currently building a prototype of a 60 meter Giant Dutch Wheel, with the possibility of one being sold to the USA in the near future.  Lamberink is scheduled to deliver its first 40 meter wheel in North America to Ray Cammack Shows this December.

    Chance Rides
    Jeff Miller was on hand at the Chance Rides booth and was busy working on deals with several show owners.  Miller was particularly excited about a new seat kit for its popular Zipper that features an open air design.  Riders are secured in the open face / open top tub using two over the shoulder restraints.  There will be a divider in the seat, which would allow a single rider to ride safely as compared to older Zippers which carry a strict no-single rider policy.  "This will be a totally different ride experience," said Miller.  "The Zipper has been along for so long and we have a lot of them out there, so we were looking for a way to give an old classic a new identity and deliver a different ride experience to the riders," Miller said of the new design.

    Chance will be offering a rebuilding service for existing Zippers to make them like new again.  They will give owners the option to add LEDs, install the new open air seat kit, and or install the new segmented cable design, etc.

    Chance is also offering a new 16 seat version of its Freestyle ride, which is similar to a Wipeout/Trabant with outward facing seats.  The 16 seat version is billed as an economic version of the popular 24 seat ride for under $600,000.  "Buyers will get a ride with a full deck, LED package, but with a reduced capacity," said Miller.  
    Two of the company's most popular rides, the Century Wheel and Pharaoh's Fury, may have resurgence into the portable market.  Miller announced that they have some interest in building the pieces, but if they could build two at a time, they would be able to pass some savings onto the buyers.  "It's much cheaper for us to build two of any rides at one time compared to just one," said Miller.

    A new portable ride concept may be on the horizon for Chance.  Miller was not yet able to divulge details of the new ride, but said it will be a new ride based on their existing Yo Yo design. 

    Testing will be underway in 2016 and the company hopes to introduce the ride to the market in 2017.  The new piece, dubbed "Flyer", will be priced affordably in the $500,000 range.

    Keep posted to MCW for continued coverage on the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo.

    2015 IAAPA Expo Coverage
    Tuesday Highlights  |    Thursday Highlights    |  Photo Gallery

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Annual IAFE Convention and Trade Show - Paris Hotel - Las Vegas, NV
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WI Association of Fairs Convention - Wisconsin Dells, WI
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Illinois County Fairs Convention - Springfield, IL
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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

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The Industry Buzz
Now through Friday, November 27, MCW is offering a 10% discount on all 2016 carnival calendar orders.  Just purchase online and enter the discount code THANKS15 at checkout!  Happy Thanksgiving from MCW!

CLICK HERE to order your 2016 Carnival Photo Calendar
  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/25/2015
Ray Cammack Shows Tony Fiori passes
Tony Fiori, V.P./Media and Marketing for Ray Cammack Shows, passed away over the weekend.  Tony had worked for RCS for over 30 years and was a great friend to many in the industry.  As additional details are available on services, they will be posted here.  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/23/2015
Henry Poluffe of Specialty Insurance passes
Henry Leonard Plouffe, 84, chief financial officer of Specialty Insurance, LTD., entered into eternal rest on October 26, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.  He was the beloved husband of 62 years of Mary Bergin Plouffe.  Together they had five children: Kathryn Dumas, Jeanne (Robert) Prota, Thomas Plouffe, Michael (Kyle) Plouffe and Maryann (James) Laspino.

Henry was a graduate of Fairfield Preparatory School and served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict.  His banking career began as a teller at Tradesmen's Bank, New Haven.  In 1975 he retired from the former Orange National Bank as a vice president.

From 1975 until his second retirement, in 2005, Henry was employed by the City of West Haven as a 911 operator.  In addition, he served as both a paid and volunteer firefighter for the City of West Haven and its' Allingtown Fire district for 65 years, commencing in 1953.  From 1979 until 1985, he held the position of chief of the volunteers.

Until his retirement and illness just two weeks ago, Henry was the chief financial officer for Specialty Insurance, LTD. He was a coach, for many years, in the West Haven Midget Football League.  As a devoted member of the Church of St. Louis, he held the position of senior trustee.  In 2010, he was awarded the St. Joseph's Medal of Appreciation, presented by the Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford.
  Posted by Obiturary on 11/3/2015
Rides 4-U to Introduce New Rides at IAAPA

Len Soled's New Jersey based Rides 4-U is planning on introducing two new attractions at the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando.  Rides 4-U will have two large booth spaces - one indoors and another outdoors.  They will be showcasing a new interactive family ride produced by Italian manufacturer, SBF/Visa.  The new ride will feature cars that pivot on the end of the rides sweeps and riders will be able to shoot at targets on the cars and keep score.  Another new attraction that will debut at the trade show includes a triple spiral roller coaster that will be showcased at the company's indoor display.  Other equipment slated to be at the Rides 4-U booth at IAAPA include a Compact Spinning Coaster, being delivered to Fiesta Shows of New England; a Frog Hopper to Stweart's Amusements; a Groovy Bus to Browns Amusements; and the Drop N Twist drop tower.

Soled also announced the delivery of Skerbeck Entertainment Group's KMG Inversion this week.  The piece will debut at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport with Crabtree Amusements.

The 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo will take place November 17-20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 10/26/2015
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.

KMG is a leading builder of spectacular amusement rides such as the Freak Out, Fire Ball (Afterburner), Speed, Inversion (Nemesis 360), and many more. is now open for business!  Visit to purchase Wisdom Ride Parts and LED lighting!

Browns Amusements is now hiring ride help, game help, food help, electrician, and CDL drivers for the 2015 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.

CLASSIC AMUSEMENTS in Northern California is now hiring!  We pay by the hour!  Call George 650-346-5959 or email

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