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  • Wed, November 13, 2019 9:44 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    The 80th annual Arkansas State Fair, Little Rock, rebounded from a 2018 event that had six days of rain and attendance of barely over 300,000 people, to nine days of sunshine and attendance of 472,308.

    Doug White, in his first year as president and general manager, said the lack of rain was the big reason for this year's success. White had been a member of the board before taking over from Ralph Shoptaw, who left to join Mike Featherston's Goldstar Amusements.

    It was the second highest attendance in the fair's history, going back to 2015, when Shoptaw was at the controls. It was also reminiscent of the days when the late Jim Pledger, and before him, the late Johnny Holmes, were in charge. Dates this year were Oct. 11-20.

    White was quoted as saying that a new parking lot helped traffic flow immensely. “The addition of the safe and secure lot where we could park 1,200 vehicles really helped the experience of our patrons. Not having to park offsite, knowing that the Little Rock Police Department and our sheriff's office and state police were here helping to protect all of them, made it a great 10 days.”

    The fair finished the third year of a five-year contract with North American Midway Entertainment to provide the carnival. “They did a fantastic job,” White said. In charge for NAME was Tony Diaz, who also heads up the carnival's Canadian Unit. With him was his regular management team of Wayne Kunz, Scooter Korek, John Anderson, and Michael Hupalo. The same crew that was at the State Fair of Oklahoma in Tulsa, before moving into Little Rock.

    Booked in with rides at Tulsa and Little Rock were Terry Swyear of Swyear Amusements, Alan Cockerham of Carnival Americana, which was formerly known as Bill Hames Shows, and Jeremy Floyd, with his Space Roller and several kiddie rides.

    After Little Rock, NAME played the Greater Gulf State Fair in Mobile, Alabama. Speaking on Tuesday, Nov. 12, Diaz said, “We finished there eight days ago. We had rain and cold at the beginning that was hard to make up, but we finished with three good days in a row. We actually lost the first weekend.” NAME's All-Star Unit was there, headed up by Rich Wyatt and Carl Snoddy, and Floyd booked the same equipment that he had at Little Rock and Tulsa. Mobile was the final date of what Diaz called a very good season where it was evident that the economy was good, and people were spending.

    Diaz then asked if it were cold in Nashville, where Christine and I live, and I told him it was 28 degrees. “I'm in McAllen, Texas, and it's just 39 degrees here on the Mexican border.” Diaz and his wife, Daphne, were flying the next day to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the Canadian Association of Fairs Convention.

    Entertainment at Little Rock included Rick Springfield, Craig Morgan, Ralph Tresvant, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Also, the Show Me Swine Racers, Reptile Adventure, Sea Lion Splash, and the Exotic Animal Petting Zoo.

    The 65th annual Mobile Fair, held Oct. 25-Nov. 3, featured the Marshall Tucker Band, Lanco, the Equestrian Chaos Stunt Troup, Pirates of the Sky, and various local acts, according to Grounds Executive Director Josh Woods.

    I can't help but think of Buddy Clewis, who was the building manager in Mobile when I started working for Amusement Business in 1972. I met him at the International Association of Auditorium Managers Convention in San Diego. It was also where I met Thaxter Trafton, who managed the Bangor, Me., State Fair and Arizona State Fair, besides becoming president of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers, running the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, and even owning a carnival, Shamrock Shows. He had a couple other heavy duty jobs and always said that I got him every job he ever held. That's an exaggeration, but I did help with a few.

    Anyway, I'm in this bar and I hear this feisty little former Golden Gloves boxer say to the crowd, “Nobody gets into my building until I get my share.” I introduced myself, asked if I could quote him on that and was told, 'You do anything you want with it, kid. That's the way it is. If you want to know more, call Buddy Lee (at the time, a leading talent agent in Nashville). He knows the score.' Clewis wound up having a few legal scrapes with local officials, but always came out on top. You talk about colorful characters! Carnivals don't have the patent. Clewis once had himself wheeled into a courtroom stretched out like a mummy. It was a different time.

    I've known Don Frenkel, general manager and owner of the Pensacola, Fla., Interstate Fair, for a long time, too. The first time I ever called for a report on how the fair did, his late father said that if I wanted to know about the fair I should come and see it.

    Over the years, I formed a closer relationship with Don and his late brother, John. Milt Kaufman's Gooding's Million Dollar Midways had the fair for years, and Christine and I got invited to a lot of fancy dinners at the finest restaurants in Las Vegas and Tampa with Milt and the Frenkels. Rick Reithoffer's Blue Unit of Reithoffer Shows is in the middle of a multi-year contract now.

    We got rained out the first Friday, and had two other days with rain, but not total washouts,” said Frenkel. “We still wound up pretty good financially and the last day was beautiful. The crowd was terrific. Reithoffer did a great job for us, as they always do.”

    The 85th annual fair was held Oct. 17-27. Concerning the rain, Frenkel said, “It had not rained around here for eight straight weeks before the fair started, but that's the way it goes.” Frenkel said he has used David Musselman of Capital International Productions, Negley, Ohio, to book his talent for many years. “He always comes through.”

    Talent at Pensacola included Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, Mitchell Tenpenny, Jordan Davis, Seaforth, White Tie Rock Ensemble Presents a Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thane Dunn's Elvis on Tour, and Not Quite Fab, A Tribute to the Beatles.

    From Pensacola, Reithoffer went to its final date of the year, the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, Ala., which was held Nov. 1-10. “Two tropical storms affected us in Pensacola, but we had a strong finish and a very good fair,” said Reithoffer.

    At Dothan, the show broke all records for attendance and gross revenue at the 76th annual event, according to Carrie Cavender, longtime office manager. The new president is Beverly Lamkin. Reithoffer said it was a little cool at the beginning but then the weather turned great. “It was a great way for us to end our season.”

    Dothan entertainment included Az-Izz Band, Creativity Band, Russell Dickerson, Jimmy Allen, The Manhattans, Demolition Derby, Matt's Family Jam, Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, Lew-E the Clown, Stilt Guy Gary Ledbetter, Swifty Swine Racing and Swimming Pigs, Pittman Magic, Farmer Ed, chain saw art, and Wade Henry, Unicycle Juggler, who is known as the High Roller.

    If you bet on football games, as I do, how can you explain the Atlanta Falcons beating the New Orleans Saints? Without going to the dark side, as my buddy, Buddy Lee used to do when strange things occurred, I'll chalk it up to an off day for the Saints, and this week I'll try to figure it out all over again. I'll be wagering with my heart when I pick the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots, but you never know. For those of you whose seasons are over, safe travels home and have a great winter.

    One of the best friends I've ever had, the ubiquitous Bill Alter, who worked most of his life for National Ticket, is not attending the park show in Orlando, Florida, for the first time in 56 years. He will definitely be missed. Boy, have we had some great times together!

    Please send news to tomp@oaba.org, or call 615 280-7257.

    Have all great days, and God Bless!

  • Wed, November 13, 2019 8:18 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    The NEAAPA Awards Committee is currently seeking nominations for the Annual Meeting Awards. You can nominate the employee of a NEAAPA member by completing the online application.

    Winners will be presented during the 107th Anniversary Education Conference & Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Nashua, New Hampshire.

    If you have questions, please contact committee chair John Guertin at john@guertingraphics.com or 508-754-0200.

  • Thu, November 07, 2019 3:40 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    From the desk of Vanessa Gagne:

     November 7, 2019

    The PACT Act
    passed the House last week and has also now passed the Senate.  It is ready for the President to either sign it into law or veto it.

    Proposition 10 in Texas overwhelmingly passed which gives handlers of military and law enforcement dogs the option to adopt them after service.

    The case for Nosey the elephant was dismissed on November 4th in the city of Moulton, Alabama.  Which is actually good news as it will allow the Liebels to file an appeal with higher courts. 


    'Out of tragedy we try to make something positive': Gov. DeWine signs amusement ride safety bill into law

    Humane Society calls for tougher exotic animal laws following deadly python incident

    Animal rights activists sue biggest US foie gras distributor
    Right after banning foie gras in the city of New York…

    Ben & Jerry’s sued for deceptive marketing in ‘happy cows’ case

    Owner of traveling exotic zoo wanted on felony animal cruelty charges, wife says he's being targeted

  • Thu, November 07, 2019 3:06 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    The Senate passed HB 189 (Tyler’s law) on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 by a vote of 30-0.  Since the bill has an emergency clause, it will take effect immediately after the Governor’s signature.  For your information,  below is the LSC analysis of the bill.  Summaries have been included in previous legislative reports well.

    After Ohio State Fair tragedy, Gov. DeWine signs ‘Tyler’s Law’
    Dayton Daily News
    Nov. 6, 2019
    By Laura A. Bischoff, Columbus Bureau

    COLUMBUS — With the family members of Tyler Jarrell at his side, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a measure aimed at strengthening Ohio’s amusement ride safety program.

    The law change comes more than two years after a horrific accident at the 2017 Ohio State Fair killed 18-year-old Jarrell and seriously injured seven others. A gondola on the Fire Ball ride snapped off and flung riders into the air and slammed them down onto the pavement in front of spectators.House Bill 189, named ‘Tyler’s Law,’ seeks to strengthen safety inspection standards, define qualifications for ride inspectors and clearly outline ride owner responsibilities.“Ohioans have a right to know when they put a child on a ride or they get on a ride themselves everything that can be done has been done to make sure that ride is as safe as it can be,” DeWine said.Ohio’s inspectors are responsible for checking ride safety at 51 go-kart tracks, 362 portable companies such as fairs and festivals, and 149 permanent companies, including two of the nation’s largest amusement parks: Cedar Point and Kings Island. They’re also assigned to inspect water parks and inflatable bouncy houses.Related: One-year after State Fair tragedy, families ‘live with this every day’Related: Two-years after Fire Ball accident, Ohio changes fair vendorsThe law will require state officials adopt an amusement ride classification system to help identify which rides need more comprehensive inspections; set rules governing a minimum number of inspectors and inspections; give hiring preference for inspectors who hold national certifications; require more detailed maintenance and repair records from the ride owner; and mandate that ride operators share any safety warnings with the state’s chief inspector.

    Inspection fees would be increased from $49 to $75 — enough for the state to hire two additional inspectors.Jarrell’s mother, Amber Duffield, who lobbied for the law change, gave DeWine a dragon fly pin that signifies that loved ones who died are never far away. “After the governor shared with me the loss of his own child, I felt that was appropriate because it tells us not to lose hope, we’re going to see them again,” she said.DeWine’s daughter Becky died in an automobile crash in 1993 at the age of 22.Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

  • Thu, November 07, 2019 2:47 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Guy and Charlene Leavitt, owners of Ray Cammack Shows were ecstatic after what Guy called a very good, record-breaking Arizona State Fair, Phoenix, where the carnival was up an overall 25 per cent.

    The 135th annual event, held Oct. 4-27, with Mondays and Tuesdays off, posted attendance of 1,262,868, according to Executive Director Wanell Costello. Cammack has held the midway pact since 1980.

    Asked what made the fair so good, Guy first complimented Costello and staff for an excellent marketing plan that included a strong talent lineup with 13 concerts in Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Monster Trucks, and Indian Rodeo, the first Esports Gaming World competition, the first MMA event in over a decade, and the second annual Arizona State Dance Championships.

    The talent lineup included Lil Pump, Becky G, The Cult, Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, Billy Currington, Trace Adkins, Chase Rice, Stryper, MC Hammer, Fiesta Friday, with NB Ridaz, Lil Rick, DJ Kane, and Kid Frost, Len Brice, Matthew West, Zach Williams, and Awolimation.

    Continuing, Leavitt said, “We had perfect weather, the excellent economy helped a lot, and we brought in four new rides out of the 70 that were set up. The No. 1 ride was R50XL Wheel that is 55 meters, or 150 feet high. The Titan, tallest portable ride in the U. S., made its first appearance in Phoenix.” Made by Fabbri, Leavitt said it is like a giant Speed ride that is 17 stories tall. Also new were a Tea Cup, Gosette-manufactured Ice Jet and two bottle up games.

    Our new app phone for a cashless midway helped expand our gross. They don't ever have to go to a ticket box. We created this inhouse through Mr. Burback (Ron Burback of Funtastic Shows, Portland, Oregon, a dear friend to both of us,” said Leavitt.

    He said on the second to last Sunday, the fair had all the local service groups, firefighters, police, ambulance and other organizations come in and demonstrate their equipment. “It’s a good thing.”

    Asked about his H-2B Visa foreign labor, Cammack said, “It would make it a lot more difficult for the entire industry to operate if we didn't have them. We were lucky enough to get our full allotment.”
    Leavitt praised his 65-games operation, which is operated by Annie Kastl, whose husband, Joe, works with rides, and Steve Charleston, whose wife, Deb, is in charge of inventory, RVs, and parking. “They call her Mrs. Hud since she takes care of housing. On the Friday after the fair closed we had a big 50th wedding anniversary for the Charlestons.” Asked if there were any other news for RCS which ended its season and doesn't open again until the March 3-22 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Leavitt smiled and said, “We had a banner season, with record runs at most of our locations. Oh, and as far as I know, nobody's pregnant.”

    Reached after the Oct. 25-Nov. 3 Cape Fear Fair & Expo, Wilmington, N. C., Les (Corky) Powers, who owns Powers Great American Midways with his wife, Debbie, who is first vice chair of OABA, said, “I'm ready to go home.”

    Powers had played the Oct. 17-27 North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh, where attendance was 938,029, according to Kent Yelverton, GM. Last year's attendance was 977,256 and in 2017, it was 1,014,475. Powers said his gross numbers reflected the attendance as he was down by six per cent.

    But we feel good about that, knowing we wound up doing the best that was possible.” He said the season was very challenging since he didn't get his allotment of H-2B foreign workers early. “We got them six weeks late, but the important thing is we did get them. It would have been virtually impossible to work without them.” Powers said that in the spring he set up only 18 rides at some spots, and it required two days to tear them down because of the lack of qualified help. He added, “We ended up with a good season and feel lucky that we got what we got.” Ninety-four rides were set up in Raleigh, with Frank Zaitshik's Wade Shows, and Bob DeStefano's Dreamland Amusements also providing equipment. “We had a good layout and had to combat some really bad weather. We got lucky on the Saturday, however, when the South Carolina State Fair got rained out. We had threats but avoided the storms and had a good crowd.”

    Some highlights of the year were the Dutchess County Fair, Rhinebeck, N. Y., the Montgomery County Fair, Gaithersburg, Md., and Great Allentown, Pa. Fair. “Once we got into our fair seasons all our dates were up. Last year we lost part, or all of our fairs in Concord, Greenville, and Goldsboro, North Carolina, due to the hurricane. All of them were good, with nice weather this year.”

    Winter quarters are in Whiteville, N. C. “We'll be busy there and we'll go out again with Frank's Wade Shows at the South Florida State Fair, West Palm Beach, in January, and the Florida State Fair, Tampa, in February. And then it's on to the trade show in Gibsonton.”

    Talent at North Carolina included Natural Wonder, a Tribute to Stevie Wonder, The Embers, featuring Craig Wooland, a Folk Festival, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Charlie Daniels Band, Pure Prairie League, featuring Craig Fuller, American Aquarium, and David Childers and Race Driver Kyle Petty.

    Also, Bandaloni, The Flippin' Aerial and Acrobatic Spectacular, Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, a Parrot-Riding Pirate, Stilt Circus, Steel Drum Corps, and the No.1 attraction, the State Fair SkyGazer, a 155 ft. tall Ferris Wheel with 15-mile sight lines.

    It's always interesting to hear from Jeremy Parsons, CEO/Manager of the Clay County Fair, Spencer, Iowa, where Mike Featherston's Goldstar Amusements provides the midway.

    I've worked in the past with Myles Johnson, Jim Frost, Phil Hurst, and the last eight years, with Parsons, who like his predecessors, became active in the Mighty Midwest Fair Managers Association.

    I left you a voice mail, but I thought I would send an e-mail as well,” he said. “Well, the fair was interesting. We had five days of rain, one cancelled grandstand performance by Foreigner, and a cancelled Veterans Day Parade. With the bad weather, attendance dipped below 300,000, about four per cent from last year. BUT, despite the weather it was a smooth fair.

    “People were happy and spending money. Our food and carnival gross were only down by two per cent. That was very interesting, considering the weather and the bad agricultural economy. So, although I would like to complain, I really can't.”

    Parsons said that Goldstar did another excellent job as the midway operator. They set three single day gross records, which was important since the first weekend was essentially a washout.

    Thanks for all you do. I enjoy reading your column every week to get the real scoop.”

    Well, here it is. Attendance for the Sept. 7-15 event was 296,998, down from 308,603. Grandstand events drew 17,368 and included Chuckwagon Races, Jon Pardi, with Jake Rose, Michael W. Smith, with Turen Wells, Maddie Pope, with Maggie Lindemann, and the ageless Leroy Van Dyke's Country Gold Show, with Moe Bandy, Jimmy Fortune. T. Graham Brown, and Steve and Rudy Gatlin.

    Tom Gaylin of Rosedale Attractions called to say I finally got one right, and he was talking about my prediction that the Washington Nationals would win the World Series, which they did. I take umbrage since I also chose the Philadelphia Whiz Kids in 1950.

    I don't usually do something like this, but I heard a song I liked so much while watching the HBO show called The Affair, starring Dominic West and Maura Tierney, that I want to recommend it. It's called “The Whole of the Moon,” by a group I never heard of called The Waterboys. Google it, as I did, and let me know what you think. 

    Please send news to tomp@oaba.org, or call 615 280-7257.

    Have all great days, and God Bless!

  • Wed, November 06, 2019 12:31 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)
    U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices*
      (dollars per gallon) full history
              Change from
      10/21/19 10/28/19 11/04/19   week ago year ago
    U.S. 3.050 3.064 3.062   values are down -0.002 values are down -0.276
    East Coast (PADD1) 3.045 3.056 3.041   values are down -0.015 values are down -0.288
    New England (PADD1A) 3.045 3.028 3.034   values are up 0.006 values are down -0.328
    Central Atlantic (PADD1B) 3.235 3.246 3.244   values are down -0.002 values are down -0.254
    Lower Atlantic (PADD1C) 2.916 2.932 2.905   values are down -0.027 values are down -0.300
    Midwest (PADD2) 2.957 2.963 2.955   values are down -0.008 values are down -0.331
    Gulf Coast (PADD3) 2.802 2.806 2.795   values are down -0.011 values are down -0.311
    Rocky Mountain (PADD4) 3.044 3.082 3.166   values are up 0.084 values are down -0.232
    West Coast (PADD5) 3.675 3.724 3.746   values are up 0.022 values are down -0.087
    West Coast less California 3.290 3.379 3.413   values are up 0.034 values are down -0.125
    California 3.980 3.998 4.011   values are up 0.013 values are down -0.057
    *prices include all taxes


  • Thu, October 31, 2019 11:40 AM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    As I began to write this, I was vividly reminded of how resilient most people in the carnival and fair business are, and what a great sense of humor most have; and if you think I'm being careful with my words, it's because they represent just about every walk of life.

    I hesitate to attach a label since perception is a problem with most who never get to know this decent, hardworking group. The lifestyle is different since they move around so much, but the hopes and desires are the same as they are for coal miners, bankers, etc.

    The resiliency comes to mind at the Oct. 9-20 South Carolina State Fair, Columbia, where there was plenty of rain, but the ride gross for North American Midway Entertainment actually rose by one per cent. According to Nancy Smith, general manager and chief financial officer of the 150th annual fair, attendance was 416,320. That was down six per cent from last year's 443,712. Concessions revenue was down by 4.5 per cent.

    “We had rain the first Sunday and had to close the midway at 8 p.m. We had more rain on Tuesday, and it was overcast Wednesday. It rained the last Saturday and instead of the 56,000 who turned out in good weather last year, we had only 11,000 brave souls,” said Smith.

    Like many, I happened to be watching the Florida-South Carolina football game on television, which was played in a driving rain in a stadium directly across the street from the fair. The TV cameras often zeroed in on the almost empty midway. Earl (Louisville Junior Junior) Scheler, who has Aunt Martha's Concessions, even posted a picture on Facebook of a virtually empty midway.

    Before I forget the sense of humor statement, my wife, Christine, read something to me off Facebook as I headed to the computer. Leah O'Neil, a well-known food concessionaire from St. Paul, asked if anybody else was having problems with Coca-Cola. Before the ink had dried, as we used to say, Candy Anderson, who has Coca-Cola Bottle Up games, answered, “It doesn't go good with vodka.” I can remember when Coke's Joe Oblander was everywhere promoting his product, while John Frank did the same for Pepsi after Sam Nattis, with his one arm, retired.

    Smith pointed out that the fair had lots of changes. Instead of booking talent in the grandstand, as had been done for many years through Jimmy Jay of Jayson Promotions, Hendersonville, Tenn., the fair featured a circus. Three free shows a day were done in a tent that seated 1,300. It was promoted by John Juliano of Mellowship Entertainment, who booked the talent for many years at The Big E (Eastern States Exposition), West Springfield, Mass., and veteran circus operator Ian Garden of Canada. A smaller 1,000-seat Pepsi Place Arena featured local and regional artists. New was a Heritage Village, featuring all kinds of crafts, and a popular attraction was Zach Johnson's Swify Swine Racing Pigs.

    Smith said a highlight for her was having her 103-year-old mother, Mary Smith, ride NAME's new 150 feet high Ferris Wheel. Scooter Korek of NAME accompanied her on the ride.

    Asked about NAME's contract, Smith said that will be decided soon. The Midway contract went out to bid this year and Smith said there were six carnival companies submitting bids.

    The top 10 grossing food operators were Butch, Ann, Ronnie and Kim Netterfield's Popcorn and Floss Concessions, with eight stands, followed by Cheryl Reas's Carousel Foods; Jerry Price's Fisk French Fries; Lou Pacifico's Meatball Factory; Earl (Junior Junior) Scheler's Aunt Martha's; Daley's, Carolina Fine Foods; Mr. Kim's Oriental Foods; Rusty Groscurth's Super Dogs, and Little Richard Thomas.

    I just found out that the Oct. 17-27 North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh, had its lowest attendance in five years, 938,029. In a way, that's good and bad for Powers Great American Midways, which has the contract, in collaboration with Frank Zaitshik's Wade Shows, which pays the fair a per cap, based on how many attend.

    I was once told the North Carolina Fair is one where everybody makes money, and I've never heard anything to the contrary. Attendance last year was 977,256, and it was 1,014,487 in 2017. The record of 1,091,887 was established in 2010. The best day this year was the second Saturday when a whopping 136,448 turned out. I'll have more on this fair, where Ken Yelverton is GM next week.

    Danny Huston, chairman of the board for NAME, said it has been a very good season, and cited several examples, besides South Carolina. The Sept. 26-Oct. 6 Tulsa, Oklahoma State Fair, drew estimated attendance of 1,040,000, according to Amanda Blair, chief operating officer. The ride gross, including Mega Ride Passes, was $3,595,337. A total of 17,523 Mega Bands were purchased. The top three of 65 rides were the Starship, Polar Express, and Giant Wheel. The fair's Sky Ride had 31,201 passengers.

    PRCA Rodeo had a sellout performance of 6,292. Ten shows of Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party had attendance of 16,489. The food and beverage gross for ExpoServe was $1,409,601.

    Entertainers included Ben and Noel Haggard, Aaron Watson, Genuwine, For King & Country, Lovelytheband, Lanco, Bone Thugs N' Harmony, Rival Sons, Chris Janson, Whiskey Myers, and La Fiera De Ojinaga.

    The 106th annual Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, which was held Sept. 6-15, had attendance of 337,400, up from 328,000 last year. Pat Repp, who was in charge for NAME, with Tom Thebault said, “It was the best fair we ever had.” Robin Jennison finished a second year as general manager. Booking in were Jeremy Floyd with four rides, Joe Clair and Chris Atkins, with three food and four rides, and Sue McDaniel, with a back end piece.

    From there, Repp and Thebault went to the East Texas State Fair, Tyler, where John Sykes is GM. “We had an all-time record high gross there,” said Repp. Among those booked in was Nick Konkey.

    Grandstand entertainment at Kansas included Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, Billy Currington, Francesca Battistelli and Zach Williams, Lauren Alain, Hanson, Lindsay Ell with Madison Kozak, and Mason Ramsey, known as the 12-year-old Little Hank Williams. Also, Hypnotist Ron Diamond, the Fearless Flores Thrill Show, Bandaloni, Jason D'Vaude, and Strong Man John Beatty.

    The Sept. 20-28 Bloomsburg, Pa. Fair had great weather and posted attendance of 411,869. Paul Reichert has been president for many years. Since Bloomsburg is only 69 miles from my hometown of Scranton, I visited this great fair many times. I recall when Pat Patterson was manager, and then Fred Trump. I always saw a lot of familiar faces, including vendors Pierogi Joe Stanavage, Tony Thomas, Pretzel Man Paul Heck, and visitors from the area.

    Amusements of America has the midway now and the Vivona family had a successful year. They wind up their season at the Coastal Carolina Fair, Ladson, S. C., which is always right after the South Carolina State Fair. I often visited the late Bill Lordy and his elephant ear operation at both of those tremendous events.

    Always noted for a solid talent lineup (Bloomsburg had Garth Brooks when nobody else did), this year didn't disappoint, with Toby Keith, Old Dominion, Cheap Trick, and Amy Grant. The best day at the 164th annual fair was the closing Sunday, with 68,652 on the grounds.

    I was sorry to hear of the death of Bob Driskill, the epitome of a friendly, smiling Irishman, who was 76. His son, Robby has been doing an excellent job of running Smokey's Greater Shows in Maine, formerly owned by George (Bud) and Jeanette Gilmore.

    Bob owned McDermott's Amusements, and later, Spectacular Attractions in the Chicago area. The guy was a former detective and marine. My best memory is when he booked in with whoever had the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville around 1976 or that time period. After talking for a while, I found out he was either without electricity in his trailer, or something. Anyway, I offered to let him come to my apartment to take a shower. He was very grateful. Small gestures often make big differences in people's lives.

    Bill Blake constantly amazes me. The owner of what he calls the Great European Slide in Olympia, Washington, traveled as a manager for many years with Ron and Bev Burback's Funtastic Shows. Always laconic, and to the point, he e-mailed me: “It is great reading articles about the outdoor business that are expressly written by someone who likes and knows about our business. Keep the good work up. From your friend in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Bill.” Thanks!

    Please send news to tomp@oaba.org, or call 615 280-7257.

    Have all great days, and God Bless!

  • Mon, October 28, 2019 3:18 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    News for Immediate Release

    10700 Medallion Drive | Cincinnati, Ohio 45241 | gmpopcorn.com
    For more information about the release or images, contact Heather Gims at
    800-543-0862 ext. 2384 or hgims@gmpopcorn.com .

    Gold Medal earns recognition on the Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100
    The company ranks among the top privately-held companies in greater Cincinnati

    The Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 recently released its annual ranking of the largest, privately held companies in the greater Cincinnati area. The list includes the top 100 companies by sales. Gold Medal Products Co. is pleased to announce the company ranked at No. 66 for 2019. This marks the 25th year that Gold Medal has been included on the list.

    President of Gold Medal, Adam Browning emphasized the significance of this accomplishment, “It is both an honor and a responsbility to uphold the standards required to achieve recognition on the Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100. We are proud of what this collection of companies shows about the strength and health of the Cincinnati business community. Gold Medal looks forward to continuing to contribute to the local area’s prosperous economic development.”

    Since the launch of the Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 in 1983, the program has honored greater Cincinnati’s most recognizable private companies. The list ranks the top 100 companies by sales, as determined by a voluntarily submitted qualification form. In order to be eligible for the Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100, companies must be privately held and headquartered in the 18-county tristate area. For more information visit www.deloitte.com/us/cincinnati100.

  • Thu, October 24, 2019 6:01 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    The PACT Act
    , which relates to animal crush videos, was reported by several news sources as having been passed as Federal law this past week.  That is incorrect information - after House debate it was agreed upon in House by way of a motion to pass the bill as amended and now it is being heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  That is not the same as the bill being passed by both the House and the Senate and then going to the president to be signed into law.
    H.R. 742 Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act

    Macy’s will stop selling fur by the end of 2020 fiscal year
    Macy's bans fur sales in move celebrated by animal rights activists

    Arkansas to phase out greyhound racing by the end of 2022
    Arkansas to be free from greyhound racing starting in 2023

    More New and Updates >>>

  • Thu, October 24, 2019 5:29 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

    Bette Reithoffer, matriarch of the Reithoffer Shows family has been admitted to a rehabilitation center in Sun City, Florida following a broken leg at the State Fair of West Virginia. Daughter Jan (Reithoffer) Stoorza said her mom is doing great following a month-long ordeal of surgery and intermediate rehabilitation in West Virginia. “She is doing remarkably well, especially at 98 years of age, so we’re glad we could get her home. She is comfortable and many of her friends are around her,” says Jan.

    Please send cards and notes to:

    Bette Reithoffer
    1908 Acadia Greens Drive
    Sun City, FL 33573

    We’re sure Bette would appreciate some mail from all of her friends on the fair and show circuit.

    Best wishes to Bette during her recovery.

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