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  • Attendance up 5% at the Colorado State Fair
    12/19/2014
    Almost a half million people attended the 2014 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colorado this year. The fair was held from August 22 through September 1. The attendance numbers were about 22,000 above last year, said Chris Wiseman, the ten-year veteran general manager of the fair that brings food, fun and farm animals to the area not far from Colorado Springs.

    Last year, the fair brought 469,000 people to the fairgrounds. This year, 498,000 people came through during the eleven days of the event. That's about a five percent increase in attendance, said Wiseman, but revenues were up in all areas by about six percent, he said. Only revenues from parking which cost $7 was slightly down because vehicles had to be moved to accommodate some vendors.

    Those attendance numbers are quite an increase over the 2,000 people who attended the first fair held in 1869. That's when the people were attracted to the Pueblo area for a horse exhibition and the Colorado State Fair was born. Colorado became a state in 1876 and the state fair was already going strong. The fair is still calling Pueblo home. It's only been cancelled once during its entire history. In 1917, there was no fair held during World War I. The fairgrounds were used as a training facility during that time for the Army National Guard.

    Since then, the annual fair has developed into the largest summer event in the state.

    "This year, everything went very well," said Wiseman. "The weather was good. We had one night when there was a little drizzle. It got down to about 50 degrees a few nights, a little chilly, but otherwise nice. We had a great eleven-day run."

    The entertainment this year couldn't have been better, he said. Country and western singer Brantley Gilbert had an extremely popular performance, selling out. Gilbert is originally from Jefferson, Georgia. His latest release is the album "Just As I Am."

    Tony Orlando, that blast from the past, was also a real hit, according to Wiseman.

    "He really put on quite a show," Wiseman said. "I don't think most people were expecting it. Everybody thought he was great."

    Orlando recorded "Tie a Yellow Ribbon "Round the Old Oak Tree" in 1973. He's celebrating his 30th anniversary of that recording. It has since become his anthem, used for homecomings, reunion and renewal. Orlando was born and raised in New York City, His career started when he was just 16 with "Halfway to Paradise" and "Bless You." He later became one of the youngest vice-presidents for CBS Records. He had a weekly television variety show which ran for four seasons from 1974-1976.

    Today, Orlando is a popular headliner in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Biloxi and Laughlin and has been a recipient of three American Music Awards and a People's Choice Award. Orlando was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990. This winter, he has a special production for the Christmas season entitled "Santa and Me." 
    On the midway, Crabtree Amusements of Staples, Texas took over. The company brought 52 rides, said Wiseman.

    "The carnival was up by six percent this year," said Wiseman. "People were really riding the rides." 

    Crabtree Amusements, Inc. is a family-owned and managed company, founded in 1978 by Patrick Crabtree. Other family members are now involved. Safety is a top priority for the company, according to the website. The company also provides an all token midway. Token machines are located throughout the midways, and all food, rides and games accept only tokens. The token machines operate from open to close and are monitored by an attendant during operating hours.

    The clean, modern midway paired well with all of the other entertainment events.

    The professional ram rodeo with Clay Walker was held on Friday, August 22, and was very well attended, Wiseman said. Walker appeared once the rodeo was over. Chris Young appeared with the rodeo the following day. And on Saturday, the freestyle bullfights were featured as a part of the rodeo. Monster trucks were a big part of the entertainment on Friday and Saturday, and the demolition derby was held on August 30.

    Some fairgoers temporarily confused the Colorado State Fair with the Denver State Fair, said Wiseman. They were expecting more information about medical marijuana, which recently was made legal in Denver. But the fair officials met and agreed not to have an expanded booth on the medical use of marijuana at the Colorado State Fair, Wiseman said. 

    "We had only one small informational booth with some brochures," he said. "We planned it that way. That was our policy."

    The fair is owned by the state of Colorado, and it is a division of the Colorado Department of Agricultural. About seven percent of the fair's funding is provided by the city of Pueblo and the county, according to Wiseman. Admission this year was $10 for adults and $5 for children, but, if you were careful and kept an eye on the specials, you could have gotten in for as little as $1.00, he said.

    A mega ride pass could be purchased for $90, for example. It included free gate admission and an all-you-can-ride carnival pass good for all 11 days of the fair. Every day, members of the military and first responders received a $2 discount on gate admission. Those same fairgoers paid only $5 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. On Thursday, August 21, a local radio station offered a sneak peek night when the fair was first starting. The offer included a $15 all-you-can-ride band the night before the actual fair opened. Those attending sneak peek night had to purchase a ride band to get into the fairgrounds.

    Colorado State University got in on the act on Friday, August 22, and Friday, August 29. The offer was mailed to students in local school districts and included a $15 discounted ride band. Saturday, August 23, was band day at the Colorado State Fair. All marching band members in uniform were admitted for free at the gate and later performed on stage for the audience. Wiseman said you could hear the music all over the fairgrounds.

    On Sunday, August 24, military personnel and emergency responders, with proof of affiliation, were allowed to buy rodeo tickets for $7 a $5 savings. The savings was offered by local energy company Black Hills Energy. Customers of the company were offered a $2 admissions savings if they brought along a copy of their bill.
    Senior citizens over the age of 60 were admitted free on Wednesday, August 27.

    Wiseman said that one of the most successful events at the fair was the Junior Livestock Sale, and event that raised $482,000 to be distributed among the winners, all members of local 4H and Future Farmers of America Clubs.

    "We were up by $20,000 over last year," he said. "For most of the kids, the money they get from selling their animals will go toward college, but we heard one kid talking about he was going to start a hog operation with his money."

    This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Junior Livestock sale. Over the past 34 years, the Colorado State Fair Junior Livestock Sale has raised over $8,250,000 for the youth involved in 4H and FFA.

    "Colorado's 4H and FFA youth work tirelessly throughout the year to earn a spot in this show and the Colorado State Fair appreciates their dedication to the agricultural community," said Wiseman.

  • Market research leads to LA County Fair rebrand
    12/17/2014
    The LACF - formerly known as the LA County Fair -  August 29 September 28 -  saw attendance dip but revenue stay steady, with the verdict being that while a heatwave early on in the fair hurt its overall gate, the massive re-branding and new marketing effort showed positive results. 

    Weather-wise, a heat wave affected some of the early days - "it was preternaturally hot, very unreal for this time of year, in the triple digits, but the evenings were great," said Michael Chee, Director of Marketing & Communications. "That affected attendance, but the last two weeks of the fair, the weather was perfect."

    Attendance & Revenue 
    Attendance reached 1,204,911, a slight dip from 2013 - not unexpected given the high day-time temps. Once the heat wave broke, guests came out in full force. LACF broke evening and weekday attendance records during the last week, racking up the best last Thursday ever with 70,010 guests and the best last Friday figures in 20 years, with 85,453.

    According to Chee,  "per capita spending was up," and the fair generated $30 million in revenue, about the same as last year. "We had one less day because of the calendar," said Chee. "And we had a small drop in attendance, so given that our revenue was the same as last year, with less people, I can say we had a good fair and that our new marketing was effective." 

    "We are very pleased with this year's Fair and believe from an entertainment, programming and experiential point of view, it was indeed our best production ever," said Renee Hernandez,  Communications & Public Relations Supervisor. "Despite the heat, we still say record breaking single day crowds and evening guest attendance was consistently strong.  Our customer surveys reported some of the highest satisfaction rates we've ever had." 

    Market Research
    And if it is one thing this fair follows, it's market research. 
    Extensive market research followed the conclusion of the 2013 fair. The research that was conducted in the months following last year's fair, included passive kiosk surveys at the fair, where nearly 30,000 participants answered customer satisfaction and other opinion questionnaires on their experience, live intercepts that interviewed attendees on the fairgrounds and traditional focus groups, that included people who had never been to the fair.

    "We realized that people had misconceptions about the fair, what was here, what we had to offer," said Chee. "Our mission was to tell our story better, to add more energy and detail, and reach new customers." 

    HASHTAG Friendly
    The results of the study indicated this Golden State fair needed to refresh its image in order to fit into the ever changing, multi-media, consumer marketplace of 21st century Los Angeles county. While the actions the fair took included both a rebranding and a complete overhaul of its marketing,  the most apparent adjustment was a name change... well,  not a change per say... more of an adopting an acronym. For 2014, the LA County Fair became LACF. 

    Besides being texting friendly, acronyms have other advantages. "We made a new logo, with new colors and four blocks," said Chee. "LACF is easier and simpler to remember in our current society of media consumption. And it was better for hashtag references."

    Making a new, more hashtagable moniker was only one of the marketing changes this year. 

    "2014 was a new year for us, specifically because we rebranded and launched a new logo, look and feel and a new, completely reimagined creative campaign for the first time in over a decade," said Hernandez. "We made extensive use of market and focus group research from 2013 to retool and reposition ourselves.  We feel we moved the needle in significant new ways - both in how the Fair is perceived by millennials and young families."

    Chee pointed out that, "our entire marketing was changed. We especially targeted households with higher incomes and new and never been visitors."

    The other marketing goal was to reach "a broader multicultural audience," said Chee. "Our preliminary research showed that there were groups we weren't reaching. There was a large, never been audience among these populations. We launched a duel campaign to entice higher income groups and to attract and inform more groups about the fair."

    Finding New Fairgoers
    The fair's advertising budget is approximately $2 million and includes a broad mix of traditional TV, radio, print, digital, and online. This year, the real change was more a re-allocation in terms of markets than media. Throughout the Los Angeles DMA, the LACF spherically focused on the Hispanic, Chinese and Korean segments. "We dialed a little back some vehicles, like print and radio," said Chee. "But the further into different markets, the further customized you have to be."

    The fair translated ads and marketing material into Chinese, Korean and of course Spanish. The latter actually required another layer of ingenuity. "The Los Angeles DMA ha a very large share of Hispanics, which we discovered, a large part of this market is English preferred," said Chee. "Even though they are bilingual and  culturally identify as Hispanic, they are impacted by our English language marketing." 

    The market research indicated where these ethnic populations were "clustered," and in addition, targeted geographical pools of potential fairgoers, "we culturally tweaked our creative work, which is not just translating it into Chinese or Korean, but slightly altering so it is more culturally relevant and customized for that market," said Chee.

    For the social media follow through of the marketing - and indicative of how social media has evolved - the fair hired four social media hosts - two males and two females - in their 20s and fluent in the languages of the targeted consumer groups. These culturally appropriate media millennials not only appeared in television ads and wrote blogs, tweets and Facebook posts and performed voiceovers for commercials, they hosted online "Webisodes" that were presented before and during the fair - in Chinese, Korean and Spanish. 

    With social media for a fair the size and scope of the LACF and one that is within such a diverse and media-savvy market as Los Angeles, it is no longer sufficient for a fair to use an intern or have it merely a line item in somebody's job description. "You need commitment and consistency," said Chee. "We carried through our themes in all our advertising and social media." 

    Catering to the new fairgoers was a new event, Luminasia, a Chinese lantern festival consisting of more than 200 giant, handmade lanterns as well as asian music, performances and food. "It was very well received," said Chee. "We had Chinese artisans make the lanterns, which is a cultural art form."

    Social media was far from limited to ethnic niches at LACF. One of the more innovative social media campaigns for the fair was nuptial in nature. The marketing department launched an "exclusive "Fair-Y Tale Wedding" contest that solicited social media users to campaign for their chance to win an exclusive themed wedding at this year's fair," said Hernandez. "Four couples were chosen from among the entries and each received a wedding package valued at nearly $4,000.  Couples were married every weekend of the Fair in one of our unique environments or exhibits."  

    Soft Music
    The fair phased out its $1 admission promotion during opening weekend, which may have been a factor in the attendance dip and revenue uptick. But the fair implemented other price oriented promotions. "For the first time, guests who purchased an End of Summer concert ticket received free LACF admission," said Hernandez. "We heavily marketed and commercial partner admission discounts through our all our traditional and online marketing and featured these discounts prominently on our website throughout the entire run of fair."

    Those partnership discounts ranged from 50 to 75 percent.

    While the free admission to the fair if you bought a concert ticket - which ranged $10 - $40 with specially priced VIP Skybox, the concert series presented by Toyota, presented no sell outs. Heart, Pentatonix, LL Cool J, Styx and this year's closer, Earth, Wind & Fire, drew the largest crowds. 

    While successful, the concert series did not perform as well as other segments of the fair. Entertainment buying for this year, Chee concedes, "was very much a sellers market and it increasingly has become one. It is more and more a challenge to find quality acts  that you can attract for budget you have to manage. It is more art more than science in gauging the relevancy of performers, or to find those up and coming acts that will bring people to the fair." 

    For free entertainment, a first timer in this Southern California fair was World of Wonders, and old fashioned carnival "freak show" with magic, sword swallowers and jugglers. Other free entertainment included: Barn Yard Races (Pigs and chickens); Sea Lion Splash Show; Chinese acrobats;  Mojo's Wild and Crazy Lagoon with exotic animals; Pirate Adventures featuring high dive and acrobat acts, and ZOR the Fire Eater.

    RCS Midway
    Ray Commack Show (RCS),  who has been the midway provider for LACF for about 30 years, presented 70 rides at this year's fair, including new rides the Galaxy Roller Coaster, the OMG and the Pelican Splash. "It was a very good fair and they did unusually good promotions this year," said Tony Fiori, Vice President of Marketing, RCS. "They did an advanced sale through Cosco that was very popular, we did very well at this fair. 

    The Galaxy Coaster was the most popular ride, according to Fiori, who added that while some heat wave that plagued the early fair days might have negatively impacted ridership, "we swapped out one ride with the Pelican Splash, which is more popular in the hot weather. Turns out that was a good decision." 

    The fair featured  200 food vendors, and Chee stated the LACF recorded "increases in food sales," although exact revenues were not available at press time.  Top sellers were the Triple Decker Krispy Kreme Burger, Deep-fried Oreos, and the Sriracha Corn Dog (Sriracha is a locally popular salsa).  While Los Angeles may have the image of healthy eating and the agricultural constituency of the fair promotes fresh and wholesome foods, fair cuisines retains a place on the palates of fairgoers.

    "People are more conscious of what they eat, but they see fair food as a treat and reward," said Chee. "And food like the Sriracha Corn Dog is fun." 

    Expanded Farm
    The fair also gave a makeover to the agricultural components still essential to LACF. According to Chee, through government and other grants, the fair expanded other agricultural offerings, expanding this section of the fair - known as The Farm - which includes exhibits, contest and other events from one to three acres. This year, The Farm featured more than 140 California-specialty crops,  new Farm Kitchen that prepared special delicacies, including a popular savory wood-grilled flatbread and the Big Red Barn, which showcased "agri-tainment" ranging from baby chicks, giant pigs, milking cows and the crowd-favorite petting zoo. 

    "We still provide an educational role to the public about California's agricultural industry," said Chee. 

    In terms of agriculture, that educational role has also taken on the contemporary trend of home gardening in the region, where homeowners are converting grass lawns to organic gardens. "We had dozens of more exotic, non-traditional vegetables on exhibit, with information on how they are grown, what grows in our area. Our roots are in agriculture, and it is really back to the future and this is really an evolution of our agricultural roots, educating people on sustainable and green living and keeping the fair relevant." 

    2014 Research
    In addition to finalizing revenue and more specific spending patterns, Chee is looking at some of the market research conducted at the fair. "Indications from our customer tracking is that people had a very strong, positive experience to our programming and content," he said.

    The tracking, conducted by a third party, has a scoring scale of 1-5, and that for content, the fair was receiving 4.0. He added, "we use a very reputable company for customer tracking, and 4.0 is one of he highest consumer experience scores they see."  


  • State Pride & Year-Round Marketing Sets Texas Fair Record
    12/15/2014
    The 2014 Texas State Fair generated $5 million more in revenue than the 2013 edition of this Lone Star state celebration. Since 1886, this 24-day extravaganza has been a Texas tradition, and this year's fair generated the highest revenue since its inception, not a bad accomplishment for Mitchell Glieber, who was promoted from Executive Vice President to President.

    "I can easily say this is State Fair team is the best we've ever had," said Glieber. "We have more talent in more areas. We planned and executed the best State Fair of Texas in our 128-year history. I am very proud of the fact that we established new programs designed to raise funds for our State Fair of Texas Scholarship Program that allowed us to double the scholarship dollars from last year."

    Record Revenue 
    According to Glieber, the Texas State Fair doesn't track attendance figures or specific revenue streams, instead using as the key indicator its coupon sales (used for food/beverage and rides). "We don't track actual attendance, but based on spending, it has to be at the top of the list of all State Fairs that we've ever had." Coupon sales reached $42 million, exceeding the fair's previous record set in 2010 of $37.3 million.

    "The State Fair of Texas set records in virtually every category this year," said Glieber. "We had a great product, great weather, and a great marketing plan."
    The weather cooperated - rain was scant and only on the weekdays -the Texas economy is robust, and the support of the Texas agriculture and livestock industry for the fair seems never to have been stronger. What stands out the most this year was the comprehensive marketing effort launched by the Texas State Fair. This year's marketing program featured a new theme that seemed to reinvigorate the fair and fairgoer enthusiasm, further carried through with a year-round campaign bolstered by an enlarged social media presence.

    The marketing like the fair itself, is all about Texas. "We created a fair with a strong "Texas" theme that brought about a feeling of Texan pride," said Glieber. 
    Nostalgia and state pride are aspects intrinsic to most state fairs, although many fairs in an attempt to boost attendance and appeal to new customers, emphasize their other, more contemporary components. The Texas State Fair took an opposite approach, with its marketing, centered around the theme: "Deep in Heart of Texans!" 

    Texan Heart, Texan Pride 
    The theme was expressed both externally and internally. "We took the theme and applied it to many attractions across the grounds as well as transforming much of our decor to make sure that our attendees knew they were in the "Heart of Texas," said Glieber. 

    The fair added four major "Texan" icons making a very visible statement reinforcing the marketing theme. New for the fair this year was a massive new 125-ft. flagpole that flew a giant (30' x 50') Texas flag; a special Texas Sports Hall of Fame exhibit; a Texas-themed animal show, The Wild West Pet Palooza; and a Texas makeover of the annual Starlight Parade. "We had a really good theme, very Texas intensive, and people came here to have a unique Texan experience," said Glieber.

    State Fairs always emphasize a state pride and celebrate the history, industries - especially agricultural - and other accomplishments associated with the state. But this new theme also represented, if not a complete makeover, a deliberate and extensive tweaking of the fair. 

    According to Glieber, in order to attract new fairgoers, Texas, like many state fairs, "positioned the fair as a World's Fair format and theme. Instead, this year we focused on Texas and people take pride in Texas, so that was a little bit of a departure."

    Texas also possesses a growing population, fueled mainly by thousands of newcomers moving to the state every year. Glieber has found that the Texas-focus of the content and marketing of the fair attracted as old and new Lone Star State citizens. "We have a lot of people here not from Texas and are new to Texas," he said. "They get properly indoctrinated in what being a Texan is all about. They gravitate towards the fair." 

    Year-Round Promotion
    This year's fair promotion also started earlier. Building anticipation became more of a year-long process, measured in months not weeks. According to Glieber, while communicating with their constituency throughout the year has always been standard procedure, usually the fair only "kicked it into high gear and ramped it up in September." 

    This year, however, while fair messaging and promotion grew as opening day got closer, fair promotion began in January and was steady throughout they year. "In terms of timing, we would do some things periodically, but off-season the fair went dark," said Glieber. "Now we took an approach, with social media and also with our newsletter, to a more year-round posture, keeping the fair, our educational mission and scholarships, in the public eye. We had more community involvement, more attention to our scholarship program and we highlighted capital improvements to Fair Park." 

    He added, "we were building excitement months before the fair, not just when the summer ended. Clearly, the use of social media is cost-effective and makes it easier for ongoing communication with our customers. By promoting earlier, there was higher anticipation for the fair this year." 

    Spreading the word and creating momentum may have been the strategy, but to make that strategy work the fair also diligently cultivated its audience. "The trick is to build your data base, and last year we did increase that through our followers on Twitter and Facebook," said Glieber. "We focused on our marketing theme, and captured those people who following or liking us." 

    Social Media Expansion
    The State Fair of Texas eschewed "a dedicated budget for our marketing efforts," said Glieber. The fair uses " an integrated plan that consists of print, radio, broadcast, interactive and the State Fair's own outlets - website, email marketing and social media. The majority of the plan is secured by sponsorship arrangements and trade agreements."

    What was key this year for fair social media marketing was the ongoing communication aspect of the format with fairgoers. "We made social media a two-way conversation," said Glieber. " In the past, social media was an information and promotional push beginning mid-August. This year, we leveraged social media throughout the year to promote the state, Fair Park and our own content.  We used the channels to get patrons interested and excited about all the aspects of the State Fair of Texas."

    The brick and mortar fair was re-fashioned to enhance its online presence. "We leveraged the grounds to ask patrons to like, follow and share content with us," said Glieber. " There was signage throughout the grounds encouraging our guests to share their experiences with us. When they did tag us in a photo or used key #hashtags, the Fair reciprocated with the like, retweet and we even reposted great photos showcasing them on all of the channels."

    The increased social media presence may have been a result of the evolution of the format, but Glieber pointed out that the fair staff has "more experience in handling it, so we are really taking advantage of social media."

    Independent Midway Increase
    The Texas State Fair has an independent midway, featuring 73 rides and 73 games, contracting with a total of 15 companies. The fair does not release specific midway revenue figures, the fair was up approximately 17 percent on Midway operations over 2013," said Glieber. 

    The Fair Park complex features some permanent rides, such as the Top O' Texas Tower, which premiered last year. In addition, the fair's midway aesthetic is kept uniformed in appearance, which Glieber crediting, Rusty Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President of Midway Operations, for maintaining the independent midway format. "By having independent ride operators, there's more competition between the operators and we get the best rides," said Glieber. "We found over the years, the independent midway, the contracting is very competitive, and we get the quality of the equipment and training of personnel." 

    Rides having their Texas State Fair debut include Hurricane, Hard Rock and Kamikaze as well as two Kiddie Rides: Puppy Express and Hog Rally. The top five grossing rides were: Texas Star, Texas Skyway, Crazy Mouse, Top O' Texas Tower and Fast Trax Slide. Top five Midway Games ere Short Range Basketball, Balloons - 1, Water Race -1, Water Race - 2 and Balloons - 

    The Texas State features about 85 performances throughout the course of 24 days, with the Chevy Main Stage included in State Fair admission. Headliners included :the Swon Brothers, Fantasia, Lucy Hale, Kool & the Gang, Siggno, Deryl Dodd, Cody Canada & the Departed, Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Casey Donahew Band, Le Freak, Becky G, Danielle Bradbery, Collective Soul, and La Maquinaria Nortena. According to Glieber, the largest attended shows were Fantasia, Becky G, the Casey Donahew Band and La Maquinaria Nortena.

    With fair attendance being up - and concerts being free, essentially acting as additional draw - Glieber feels the entertainment this year was successful, with most of the shows holding up their end in terms of attracting crowds. However, he admitted that talent buying is more of a challenge each year, "In Dallas, because of the heavy competition, I consider this to be a sellers' market," he said. 

    Funnel Cake Ale
    The 2014 State Fair of Texas had 79 food vendors, and since 2005, concessionaires have competed in the Big Tex Choice Awards. One winner and local favorite was "Clint Probst's crowd-pleasing Cajun creation featured everything you would expect in a shrimp boil rolled into a ball, dusted with Fish Fry, and fried to a golden brown," Glieber said, 

    Funnel Cake Ale, a Big Tex Choice Award winner in the Original State Fair Brew category - sold out before closing day of the fair, the first time in the history of the competition. According to Glieber, this new, innovative brew features its titular accents- Funnel Cake - a food item nearly synonymous with fair cuisine. The recommended serving style for this "summer" ale was having the rim of the plastic beer cup coated with powdered sugar. 

    From inventive marketing to expanded content, the Texas State Fair was poised for a big year. Glieber may have been confident that this year's fair would succeed, he admits to being surprised about the extent of that success. We knew that with the product we were putting out there, we had a chance to set a record," he said. "However, reaching $42 million in coupons sales was definitely beyond our expectations."


  • Skerbeck Brothers Shows Announces Succession Plan to Continue 160 Years of Business
    12/12/2014
    Escanaba, MI - December 8, 2014 Skerbeck Brothers Shows, Inc. has been working for several years to coordinate the succession of Skerbeck Brothers Shows to the next generation of family owners. This is an important undertaking because the Skerbeck Family has a long tradition in the outdoor amusement business. Over the past 160 years, the family business has transitioned with stability through six generations. Some of the family business names have included Skerbeck Circus, Skerbeck Shows, Skerbeck's Great Northern Shows, Skerbeck Amusement Company, and most recently, Skerbeck Brothers Shows.

    As co-equal business partners with a large asset pool and expanding families, Joe and Bill Skerbeck have operated Skerbeck Brothers Shows, Inc. as two divisions for several years. In order to formally move assets from one generation to another, two new business identities were created to represent the two business divisions.

    As of December 8, 2014, the units will be identified as Skerbeck Entertainment Group, Inc., and Skerbeck Family Carnival, Inc. Joe Skerbeck announces his retirement with this change in ownership, appointing Jamie Skerbeck as President of Skerbeck Entertainment Group. Bill Skerbeck is the President of Skerbeck Family Carnival. Joe Skerbeck will continue to remain active through his retirement period through his role as a Director of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.

    The assets utilized at existing events will remain the same. The two divisions will continue to have a cooperative relationship for events where assets are combined and look forward to working together at certain key events for many years to come.

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HEADLINES from the web
SHOW ROUTES
Belle City Amusements
Manatee County Fair
Palmetto, FL
1/15/2015 - 1/25/2015
Wade Shows
South Florida Fair
West Palm Beach, FL
1/16/2015 - 2/1/2015
Belle City Amusements
Charlotte County Fair
Port Charlotte, FL
1/30/2015 - 2/8/2015
Wade Shows
Florida State Fair
Tampa, FL
2/12/2015 - 2/13/2015
Wade Shows
San Antonio Livestock Show
San Antonio, TX
2/12/2015 - 3/1/2015
Deggeller Attractions
Martin County Fair
Stuart, FL
2/13/2015 - 2/21/2015
Belle City Amusements
Hendry County Fair
Clewiston, FL
2/13/2015 - 2/21/2015
INDUSTRY CALENDAR

2/3/2015-2/7/2015
I.I.S.F. Gibtown Extravaganza - Gibsonton, FL
[more info..]

11/16/2015-11/20/2015
IAAPA Attractions Expo - Orlando, FL
[more info..]

2013 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 Exhibition

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  Posted by Matt Cook on 12/15/2014
Drew Expo to upgrade Seattle Wheel lighting
During the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Jim Drew of Drew Expo reported that the show was in the process of refurbishing their Seattle Wheel and would be replacing the existing neon lighting with a new LED system from Denny's Electronics.  "The neon looked great, but was hard to maintain" said Drew.  The LED system Drew plans to install will have a custom program and will display colors similar to the neon that is currently on the ride now.  Every 15-20 minutes, the program will do special colors and patterns, but for the most part, the program will be subtle and retain the historic beauty of the ride.    Posted by Matt Cook on 12/1/2014
Carnival Photo Calendars - ON SALE NOW
2015 Carnival Photo Calendars are now on sale!  

Our 12th edition - The MCW 2015 Carnival Calendar is professionally printed on gloss stock and features over 60 photos of carnivals and concessions from around the country! A must have for any carnival or amusement park lover.

To order, click here.



  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/30/2014
Rides 4-U to host party during IAAPA show

Len Soled's Somerville, NJ based Rides-4U announced that they will be hosting an after-hours party during the IAAPA trade show next week on Wednesday, November 19 from 7-9pm at Fun Spot Orlando.  Soled welcomes all former and current customers to attend the event for food, drinks, and access to the park.


  Posted by Matt Cook on 11/14/2014
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
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.

Wade Shows -HIRING for 2015, NOW BOOKING, Office Manager & Assistant wanted, Custom Fence & Signage available!!

WINDY CITY AMUSEMENTS - Ride Help, Electrician, Mechanic wanted for 2014 season!

Campy's Amusements is Now Hiring for 2014 - Ring of Fire Foreman, Electrician, Ride Supers

Reithoffer Shows is now hiring a show electrician, giant wheel foreman, and interviewing ride foremen for other rides.  Please call 516-262-6145 or visit www.reithoffershows.com.

Crescent City Amusements is seeking CDL drivers, electricians, and maintenance supervisors for the 2014 season!  Call Greg at (985) 960-3013 for more information.

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