July 2021 NICA News

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Contents • July 2021 Articles & Features AdvertiSers 04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 05 Director’s Voice 07 Riffing With Rey 10 Association Announcements 11 Member’s Voice 13 Thoughts From a CCE 15 Attention Members: Are You Taking Advantage of All That NICA Has to Offer? 16 Meet the Candidates 18 Back to Business in Minnesota 22 San Mateo County Fair Opens! 25 Getting to Know Your Regional Council Members 26 We Are Ready! 29 NICA Membership Contest Leaderboard

29 A to Z Meats 24 Berk Concession Supply 21 Conagra Brands 29 Cusumano & Sons 12 Fanestil Meats 30 Fare Foods 14 Firestone Financial 02 Fiserv 27 Heinkel’s Packing Company

06 Hummel Group Insurance 27 JKJ Workforce 30 K&K Insurance 28 Member Classifieds 09 Mr. G’s Meats 12 Perfect Stix 09 Rio Syrup 29 Teti Bakery 21 Valley/J&B 27 Waymatic

Hot Diggity Dog! July is National Hot Dog Month, with the first observance occuring in 1956. As Fairs are opening across the country, grills are firing up too! Whether it is a foot-long, served on a stick, contains special ingredients, or served with traditional toppings, it’s time to fire up those grills! NICA is proud to have over 50 members who serve these delicious All American Fair staples.

NICA is a membership-driven organization dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: www.nicainc.org The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2021 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Together We Can Get it Done!” July 2021 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members Alisa Winschel

Ross Concessions Pizza Albion, PA

John Colvin

David Penn

Gordon Food Service Shepherdsville, KY

Family Foods & Concessions, LLC Hazelwood, MO

Kyle Moore

Drizzle D’s, Inc. Roxboro, NC

Carey Rankin Kate’s Diner Sarasota, FL

Welcome to our five New Members! View page 29 for the NICA Membership Contest Leaderboard.

This Month’s Member Renewals Andrew Andrescavage

Tina Doolan

Jeff Lindsey

Leslie Pence

Rose Marie ‘Rosie’ Ash

Dan Duggan

Shawn Loter, GM

Wayne Petersen

Jeff Beaver

Jason Gardner

Staci McGrew

Lakeland Marketing St Louis, MO (2010)

Bob’s Concessions Spring Hill, FL (2010) Old Style Foods Salisbury, NC (2012)

Matt Bribiesca µ

Bribiesca Concessions Holcomb, KS (1993)

Andrew Broomfield µ Creamy Rich Bryan, OH (1993)

Gary Brown

Gary Brown Concessions Heath, OH (2002)

Alpha Baking Waukee, IA (2007)

Duggan’s Concessions Fresno, CA (2007)

Mississippi Valley Fair, Inc. Davenport, IA (1994)

Gold Medal Products Co. Cincinnati, OH (2001)

Fun Times Inc. Ukiah, CA (2019)

Alexandra Graf

Rick McMillen

Schnitzels & Giggles Bowie, Texas (2011)

Brakebush Brothers, Inc. Auburn, IL (1994)

Teddy Gross

Dennis Merigian µ

C S Concessions Craigsville, WV (2003)

Merigian’s Caramel Corn, Inc. Belding, MI (1993)

Erica Haag

Dan Carroll

Emma’s Cookie Kitchen Kora’s Cookie Dough Greenbush, WI (2019)

Chris Conkle, CCE

The Donut Family Inc. White Bear Lake, MN (2003)

Wanell Costello

Old Time Portraits LLC Baileys Harbor, WI (2002)

WNA Lenexa, KS (2008)

Michael Miller

Miller Food Concessions, LLC Mauckport, IN (2017)

Todd Hawkins

Crystal Miller

Pence’s LLC Bryan, OH (2017) Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center Salem, OR (2020)

Mary Prange

Emma’s Cookie Kitchen Kora’s Cookie Dough Greenbush, WI (2019)

Terri Prince

Always Fry Day LLC Ruskin, FL (2020)

Vonda Riley

Jimmy’s Concessions, Inc. Creedmoor, NC (2018)

Alice Rowlett

D & A Silver Dollar Bakery Merryville, LA (1998)

Kris Ryan

Scott Henry

California Ice Cream Company Acampo, CA (2019)

Mickey Neck

Soni Ryan-Hochmuth

Arizona Exposition & State Fair Phoenix, AZ (2013)

Susan Hewing

Ormic Concessions Inc. Brownsville, TX (1998)

Mark Nichols

Andy Schaefer

Michael Curci

Robert Kolar

Uncle Buck’s Concessions Central Point, OR (2004)

Ken Nunn µ

Dan Sher

Mark Lancaster

Pet I.D. Tags Hudson, FL (1993)

David Olivares

Dan Smoots

Jacqueline Leavitt

Kaliff Insurance San Antonio, TX (2018)

Conkle’s Concessions Lakeport, CA (2016)

Soda Parts Express Annandale, NJ (2010)

Wayne Decker

Future Vision Malabar, FL (2017)

Ania Delahoyde

Extreme Food & Beverage Ukia, CA (2019)

Darrell DeRouin Sr.

Red Barn Food Wagon Escanaba, MI (2002)


Doolan Amusement Co. Stuart, FL (2017)

July 2021 NICA News

JMS Concessions Windsor, IL (2004) Kolar Specialties Inc. Eastlake, OH (2017) Vista Mobility Milwaukee, WI (2015) Golden Wheel Amusements / The Legacy Group, Inc. Chugiak, AK (2015)

K & R Concessions Harrington, DE (2014) K & R Concessions LLC Harrington, DE (2018) R.J. Schinner Overland, MO (2011) State Fair Mini Donuts Minnetonka, MN (2013) Fanestil Meats Emporia, KS (2007)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 8

Year: µ 1993-2001 2002-2006 2007-2011 2012-2020

President’s Message

Sandy Class, CCE, President

It’s July and many of us are hitting the highway with Fairs and events opening up nationwide. I feel we are past the days of COVID-19 and we are getting more sense of a normalcy. We all will continue to face different health mandates from state to state, and as I will continue to say, we will have to adapt. The 2021 Summer will face many issues and dilemmas that the country and many businesses were already facing before we all knew our Fairs would open. It’s no news that EVERYONE is hiring! The supply chain for everything has affected transportation, new equipment, new vehicles, replacement parts, groceries, and the list goes on! The COVID-19 Pandemic hit us all hard, the loss of family and friends, loss of income and the health and prosperity of America’s well being has been shattered. The Summer will welcome us back to being together, moving our equipment, and embracing

our Fair partners. We are an Industry of, frankly, always helping someone in need. Now more than ever we will need each other and the support of all! Our Fairs are opening but we will all have challenges. I feel we will have some of the best events ever. It’s time to wipe off the dust, get the polish out and put our smiling faces back to work. Congratulations to our four nominated Board Candidates: Stacey Pittroff-Barona, Kim Barr, CCE, Dan Lusenhop, and Jay Wells. We will be sending out ballots, both electronic and mail, by July 15th. It is NICA’s intent this year to use a “secure online election system that provides a ballot that is accessible, secure and guarantees anonymity in future elections” (NICA Bylaws, Article III Section 4. Election). Members without email, non-working ones, or those with a shared email address will be sent a copy of the election ballot via mail. If you would like a mail-in ballot or have any email or address changes, contact the NICA Office as soon as possible at (813) 438-8926. As Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” I am wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and happy Summer! ▲

Director’s Director’S Voice

Kim Barr, CCE, Treasurer

In February 2020 who would have thought most of us would be where we are now? COVID-19… it surely has affected our Industry as a whole! I must admit, I was in denial that COVID-19 was going to affect us! But the reality is... it has affected us and many, many others! With moving from our home state of Washington in October 2019 to Caldwell, ID it did put a bit of a damper on our business as far as our proximity for trying to do Fair Food Drive-Thrus. We did, however, participate in two! One in Medford, OR at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, as well as the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima, WA.

Cars lined up to enjoy a variety of tasty foods as Central Washington State Fair’s first Fair Food Drive-Thru opened

Both events were great! But each came with different guidelines. Medford allowed the customer to come into the Fairgrounds, park, and walk up to the four participating trailers. Central Washington State Fair advertised months in advance noting ►► “Voice” continued on page 8 July 2021 NICA News


Dominic Palmieri, CCE Paulette Keene, CCE Joe Potillo, Jr. Greg Miller, CCE Tom Sattler, CCE Russ Harrison, CCE Richard Busse, CCE Tom Hodson, CCE Officers Jim Hodson, CCE (Deceased) President: Sandy Class, CCE 1st Vice President: Daryl Whicheloe, CCE Tim O’Brien, CCE 2nd Vice President: Vincent Nelson, CCE Ron Smith Adam McKinney, CCE Treasurer: Kim Barr, CCE Mike Pence, CCE Secretary: Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE Jack Woods, II, CCE Directors Bob Hallifax, CCE Phil Delahoyde Frank Parnell, CCE Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE Larry Orme (Deceased) Kelly Grout Larry Sivori Rich Wright Thomas Hodson, CCE Bill McKinney, CCE Kathy Ross, CCE Arthur Pokorny, Jr. Jeff Thornberry, CCE Gene O’Brien, CCE (Deceased)

Immediate Past President

Don Delahoyde, CCE

Past Presidents’ Council

Kathy Ross, CCE Dan Lusenhop


Executive Director & West Council Coordinator : Rey O’Day rey@nicainc.org


Office & Membership Manager: Linda Frisco nica@nicainc.org

East Council Coordinator & Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Gottsche

Bary Bunts, CCE Libby Class Ryan Collmer Thomas Hodson, CCE Gentry Miller Henry Mitchell Kelley Myers

West Council


Brandy Arredondo, CCE Kim Barr, CCE Irene Dugan Jan Gary, CCE Ryan Long Kara Moederndorfer Ryann Newman Steve Vartanian Jay Wells

Trustees: Mark Lancaster Don Kenna Vincent Nelson, CCE Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

Do you have any questions or would like to get involved with NICA? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org today!


Central East Council Coordinator: Dennis Larson, CFE dennis@nicainc.org

President: Audrey Poole Vice President: Greg Miller, CCE Treasurer: Jennifer Giordano, CCE Secretary: Rey O’Day

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July 2021 NICA News



Riffing With Rey

Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Finding New Rhythms

Good Afternoon, It is a company he found. Now, where was I? beautiful day, and I am sitting Oh yes, I am way past being cautiously at my computer working on optimistic and am now confident we are in the act an article for NICA News… I of opening our events. In one weekend, I saw the focus in on the calendar and realize almost every week has movie In the Heights, attended a cabaret concert in Orange County, and accepted the invitation an OPENING DAY at one of from a director choreographer friend to join him our Fairs! Every opening day makes me think of YOU. These on his opening night of Mama Mia in a real theater are the days for which we have waited 15 months, ­—a LIVE musical with actual performers—I am weeping for joy!!! I have learned I am a threeand for some, as many as 24 months! In March 2020, while shocked, brokenhearted, dimensional person, not a two-dimensional person. I am grateful I live in a country and concerned, many of us optimistically capable of developing vaccinations believed that the Pandemic would that are plentiful and a choice. While be over by Fourth of July 2020… it I seldom wear a mask, I think I seems we picked the wrong year “Together we will still wear one on airplanes but the right time of year. While have spent over to avoid catching colds and flu some tried to call our Industry a year grieving, from others. I continue to wash non-essential, we learned that sharing, praying, my hands often and keep my our fans missed our food and learning, and hands off my face. Because products, so we found creative this is a respiratory spread ways to provide them. Together celebrating each virus, I think the public will we found ways to stay solvent, other one day expect servers to wear masks for survive, pass time, and in many at a time.” a while longer and we will continue instances experience our first to always practice sanitary ServSafe (and maybe last) Summer vacation procedures. with friends and family. With change Together we have spent over a year all around us in our work and personal lives, grieving, sharing, praying, learning, and celebrating we learned we were making history. Uncertainty, each other one day at a time. You are full of flexibility, patience, Zoom calls, and stay safe at home orders became trendy words that have never tenacity and resilience, and I admire you for it. In 2020, Together we Focused on the Future and in been our style and I never want to use again. We 2021 we are Moving Forward! are the out and about, busy, in-person, get it done I am trying to find my new rhythm and things people. Yes, “Together We Can Get it Done!” seem a little messy and sometimes overwhelming. Like you, my day is never un-interrupted: the My advice to me is to lower my shoulders, take a gardener came to fix the sprinklers, Sysco called about ordering refill cups (first time in over a year), deep breath, let it out, look up, and smile… right the Lomas Santa Fe Golf Club called to confirm the now! Remember we wished for this day, and month, and season. So did our Fair guests… take NICA Golf Tournament details, a handy man fixed good care of them. I visited our friends at the San a broken door lock, a NICA Member has called to tell me one of our members has passed away and Mateo County Fair and the San Diego County another has called to tell me he has just become a Fair this month and I hope to see each of you soon grandfather. Linda called me to review this month’s at some event. For us, it is always “Together We Can” and for 2021, it is “Together We Will Continue financial package and Jesse and I discussed Moving Forward.” Big hugs and I mean real ones. ▲ the NICA Foundation trifold and a new printing July 2021 NICA News


“Voice” continued from page 5 ►► this was their first Fair Food Drive-Thru, and the staff worked diligently to put the logistics together to make it as successful as possible. Both were quite different Drive-Thrus for us. When the customer is limited to the car, it puts extreme pressure on each Concession trailer, because now you have a car full of people who may place one order with one form of payment, or multiple orders with multiple forms of payment. It made it particularly challenging! Much harder but rewarding at the same time! This method versus coming into the Fairgrounds, parking, and being able to walk up to place their order. Health Departments on both events, to my surprise, were close to what we are used to seeing. We already enforced hand washing, but now we add the sanitizing, placing “six feet apart” stickers on the ground as well as cash register employees wearing gloves and no drink refills. And that was it. We are finding that most of our health inspections have not changed as far as COVID goes. It has been so wonderful to see Fairgrounds all over the United States come together, see what all of us are going through, and collaborate

Kim Barr, CCE, Treasurer, Kathy Kramer, CEO, Central Washington State Fair, and Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, 1st Vice President at the Fair Food Drive-Thru in Yakima, WA

to put on the Drive-Thrus. And some Fairs have been so fortunate to continue with their Fair this year! Congrats to everyone for making the season somewhat successful. Now, in 2021, we are starting to see Drive-Thrus coming to an end, as all the communities are starting to lift COVID restrictions, allowing the consumer to get out and about more, making them want to experience things in a more normal environment. In 2021, we are all feeling a bit more confident, as more and more Fairs and Festivals are beginning to open back up. Some have started with restrictions! But what we have noticed is many Concessionaires, as well as Commercial Vendors, are doing better than their last year of doing business before COVID took over. As a NICA Council and Board Member, I have been brainstorming what procedures and protocols we can put together so we can help move through this Pandemic together! Stronger than ever before. Another view of the Central Washington State Fair DriveThru, showing the directional signs that organized the traffic “Together We Can” and we will in 2021! ▲ “Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► Scott Suchomski

Tennessee Valley Fair Knoxville, TN (1995)

Steve Sweetin

Kim-Laine Fun Foods, LLC Springfield, MO (1995)

Jeff Thornberry, CCE

Pristine Systems, Inc. DBA Gadgets and Neat Stuff St. George, UT (2012)


July 2021 NICA News

Melissa Thum

Thum Insurance Agency, LLC Grand Rapids, MI (2014)

Phillip Tomber

RIO Syrup Company, Inc. St. Louis, MO (1997)

Kevin Veitch

Saratoga County Fair Ballston Spa, NY (2006)

Ken Vose

Vose Concessions Springfield, IL (2009)

Eddie Westmoreland

Westmoreland Concessions Queen City, TX (2005)

Doug White

Arkansas State Fair Little Rock, AR (1994)

Tyler Wildenberg (Pence) Creamy Rich/Pence’s Bryan, OH (2019)

Rachael Wolfe

Highlands County Fair Association Sebring, FL (2008) Thank you to all 51 Renewal Members for your continued support. In 2021 all of the Renewal Members’ names will be placed in the drawing for the $2,000 Gift of Travel. “Together We Can!”


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Do you have any announcements you would like to share? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org

Summer has kicked off with many life events. On June 16, Dane and Dara Baldwin, D&D Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, became first time grandparents when grandson Axel Lee Baldwin was born and Nathan and Medina Marcus, West Coast Weenies, Inc., became first time parents when daughter Ahryah was born. We send speedy healing wishes to Jim Fraser, Big Jim’s Concessions, and Chuck Dugan, Chuckwagon, who both have taken painful falls. Ladders and the places they take you are part of your everyday tools and activities… please be careful. Axel Lee Baldwin Ahryah Marcus We are grateful to those who have assisted them. Rich and Teresa Brander, Brander Enterprises, Inc., are the proud parents of three graduates: Brooks and Carson are part of the high school graduating class of 2021 and their daughter Lillie will be attending high school in the Fall following her graduation from middle school. To all of you “on the road again” with your Concession stands, bunkhouses, trucks, supplies, offices, and employees we wish you safe travels, minimal tire blowouts, and much success. Please send us your stories and photos.

Our Condolences to the Family & Friends of Connie McKinney It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Connie McKinney, CCE, 78, of Van Buren, AR, has passed away. He was the owner of Connie’s Concessions, a NICA Member since 1993, and had received his CCE Designation in 2001. He prided himself on building his business with repeat customers year after year, setting an example for cleanliness, and serving his food “hot and fresh out of the fryers.” His CCE Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy featured one of his core beliefs: “I feel that it is part of our job to make the customer feel like we appreciate their business and are glad that they came. ‘Thanks’ is a little word that goes a long way, doesn’t cost a thing, and earns big rewards.” Connie was born August 9, 1942 in Des Moines to the late Leonard M. and Georgia R. (Comp) McKinney. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl McKinney of Van Buren; daughter, Jorgann Rettinghaus of Laurens; son, Charles McKinney of Elkhart; six grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He will be missed greatly by those who knew him and worked with him in the Fair Industry. Details regarding a service have not been released, but we will share them once they are available. Our deepest sympathies to the McKinney Family during this difficult time. As an early recipient of the CCE Designation in 2001, we are honored to present his CCE statement of Communications and Management Philosophy on page 13 of this issue. ▲ ►► “Announcements” continued on page 20 10

July 2021 NICA News

Member’s Voice The greatest part of NICA is the Membership! The Membership’s Voice influences where the organization is headed and what it can improve, especially when it comes to which benefits are being used and which events people are interested in attending. The NICA Office has been continuing their survey of responses from Renewal Members. Chris Conkle, CCE, Conkle’s Concessions of Lakeport, CA, has been in the Fair Industry for over 35 years. He has been a NICA Member since 2016: “It’s good to have a group of people that you can communicate with and that have your same interests and same occupation. The people I know, most of them are extremely helpful if anything goes wrong or you need a helping hand or anything at all.” Chris started Conkle’s Concessions in 1987: “I’ve always worked in the Fair Industry doing something. Right now I’ve kind of narrowed it down and don’t have as many units as I used to. But I have one big stand that does mostly all cold stuff, no cooking involved. I do smoothies, fresh squeezed lemonade, hard hand scooped ice cream line with milkshakes, floats, ice cream cones, sundaes, banana splits, and all that kinda stuff. I have a shaved ice stand too and do that. I do the coffee line too, hot and cold, frozen coffee drinks.” Before 2020, his typical route included Fairs and events throughout California and Oregon.

Chris Conkle, CCE cools off the summer crowd with his Coral Reef Smoothies stand: “A Taste of Paradise!”

Chris Conkle, CCE, Conkle’s Concessions, and his staff in May at the Del Norte Fairgrounds in Crescent City, CA

In 2020, he says, “All but one of my events was canceled except I went to help out at the Wyoming State Fair four times throughout the year and during Fair time. My daughter is the General Manager there so I kinda volunteered and helped for free. That’s the only Fair I went to. I had to go 1600 miles just to go, but it was good to be at the Fair. It felt like the Fair was normal and all that. There was a 300 page book of health and safety rules, but other than that it felt like things were going back to normal. That was July of 2020.” Currently, he’s looking forward to events reopening in the coming months: “I’m home working on a trailer right now that I’ve done some repairs and some other things to. The months of July and August and even September are basically booked solid.” Although, he hasn’t been able to use many of NICA’s benefits, he said that next time he is considering hotels or buying a new vehicle he will give them a try. He also is looking forward to the Goodyear benefit. He shares, “Just like everybody else in this Industry, I go through a lot of tires.” Regarding the NICA News, he replies, “I read the hard-copy cover-to-cover every issue. I enjoy reading about other Concessionaires all over the country. It’s nice to read about what they are doing.” ►► “Member’s Voice” continued on page 12 July 2021 NICA News


“Member’s Voice” continued from page 11 ►► He earned his CCE Designation in 2020, alongside his daughter Courtny. “It’s hard work but it was a great experience. If I can’t be a doctor it’s nice to have some sort of initials after my name. I was proud to get that and it took some doing. It’s not an easy thing to do but well worth it.” Chris ends on a hopeful note: “At my first event it was so great just to see other people there. There were friends I haven’t seen for a year and a half and some even longer than that. It was the happiest I’ve been in over a year just being at a Fair and setting up. It was amazing; it was just so great to be with other people in the Industry. Hopefully there will be a lot more of that throughout the rest of this year and into the future.” The NICA Office plans to continue to reach out to our Renewing Members throughout 2021 and beyond. If you hear from us, we’d love to know what’s on your mind and see what you’ve been up to! If we haven’t called or emailed you yet, we’ll be in touch soon. ▲

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Chris Conkle, CCE, with his daughter Courtny, as they received their CCE Awards at the 2020 WFA Convention

Thoughts From a This month’s Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy is from the late Connie McKinney, CCE, Connie’s Concessions, from Van Buren, AR, an early CCE Designation Recipient:

Connie McKinney, CCE Connie’s Concessions CCE Earned in 2001

My philosophy is that I insist that all my products are sold hot and fresh out of the fryers. I do not believe in using a heat lamp. I only want what goes out my window to be the very best and hottest that I can serve, as my reputation is at stake. I have had different people tell me that I am too particular and when customers come back next year they will not remember if your product was good or bad. I do not believe that. We have built our business with repeat customers year after year.

I am also very adamant that all of our workers tell all our customers “thank you” for their business. If you walk around any Fairgrounds, big or small, you seldom hear “thank you.” I feel that it is part of our job to make the customer feel like we appreciate their business and are glad that they came. “Thanks” is a little word that goes a long way, doesn’t cost a thing, and earns big rewards. We sell two of the hardest and messiest products on the Fairgrounds (Grater Taters and Blooming Onions), so we have to work especially hard to keep our trailers clean. I am very picky and insist that we clean our trailers top to bottom between each event. We have many customers tell us that one of the reasons they buy from us is the cleanliness of our trailers. When they tell us that, my employees then understand why we do so much cleaning and it makes all of us feel good. ▲

Q: “So, How Do I Get My CCE?” The Certified Concessionaire Executive Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires, with the title representing a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business and indicates that the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. Before applying, the applicant must have a minimum of seven years as a fulltime Chief Operating Manager of an Independent Concession Business and be a current member of NICA, at least one State Association, and of one of the following associations: IAFE, IFEA, OABA and/

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or WFA. The applicant must then complete an 11page questionnaire, which uses a point system to determine their level of qualifications and industry involvement. They are also required to submit a 150-200 minimum word personal philosophy of communication and management as it relates to the fair industry. The applicant must send the application, supporting materials, and $90 administrative fee to the NICA Office. Visit the CCE website today for more information, as well as the downloadable CCE Application: www.nicainc.org/CCE ▲

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July 2021 NICA News

Attention Members!

Are You Taking Advantage of All That NICA Has to Offer? One of the most important aspects of NICA is the access to benefits that we provide to our membership. We have compiled a comprehensive guide to our benefit partners and how to best utilize their discounts, rebates, or other deals as a NICA Member. No matter where you are in the country, you can have access to our membership benefits booklet in print or online editions—it’s meant to be used on the go! Of course, if there are any questions, feel free to call the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 and we can help. Below is a list of benefits that can assist you in the realm of communications, hardware, and signage: including hardware, appliances, and more through HD Supply. With 40-plus distribution centers spread across 25 states, HD Supply provides an expansive offering of high-quality, name-brand, and proprietary products. As a leading distributor of electrical, communications, data networking and security products with more than 280 locations, Graybar helps its customers power, network and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency. NICA Members get special discount pricing on all purchases.

Call 1-800-431-3000 or visit them online at www.hdsupplysolutions.com to register; select the “Account” link near the Search Bar and select “Register.”

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Call 1-855-347-2839 or go online to www.graybar.com to set your location and register your account from the top of the main page.

When registering, use NICA’s HD Supply account number, located on the back of your Membership Card.


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OCC Signs has you covered with special discount pricing for all NICA Members. Products include graphics and wraps, banners and fence panels, custom branding and design, menus and shape cut signs, product photos, stickers, full-color prints, backlit signs, register covers, and more! Call (714) 447-4484 or visit them online at www.occsigns.com and let them know you are a NICA Member to receive your free estimate and discount pricing. ▲


July 2021 NICA News


Meet the Candidates Meet the candidates seeking election to the 2022 NICA Board of Directors. All of them have a long history of NICA membership and service. We appreciate their commitment to serve NICA Members with their time, resources, and leadership. Their biography and nomination statements are below:

Stacey Pittroff-Barona

Giant Ride, Inc. • Roseville, MN Hello, my name is Stacey Pittroff-Barona, my introduction to the Fair Industry started at a very young age as my parents, Fred and Beverly Pittroff, were the proud inventors and owners of the original Giant Slide in 1965 in San Bernardino, CA. Over the next two decades, our family would sell 42 Giant Slides to locations around the United States, Canada, and Australia. In addition to our slides, we also operate our Concession stand business, Cheese on a Stick and Fresh Lemonade, at the Minnesota State Fair and Sydney Royal Easter Show in Australia. I joined the family’s Concession and Amusement Ride business as soon as I could walk­, taking tickets, selling lemonade, dipping Cheese on a Stick, trimming fringe on gunnysack riding mats, and waxing the slide’s corrugated steel, among other odd jobs. At 13 years old, I owned and operated my own Fresh Squeezed Lemonade cart at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. When I was 14 my parents put me in charge of operating and managing the Giant Slide at the 1988 Wisconsin State Fair and our Cheese on a Stick Concession stand at the Minnesota State Fair. That is what I have been doing ever since. Today, my husband Robert and I, in partnership with my father Fred and our daughters, own and/ or operate the Giant Slides in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington State Fairs in addition to our concession stands in Minnesota. Our family history in the Concession and Amusement Ride business has brought out the unadulterated joy of all Slide riders and Fair Food lovers, it is what has made me fiercely passionate about preserving the legacy and tradition of the Fairs. My goal as a NICA Director is to serve as an advocate for Concessionaires and Independent Ride owners furthering this Industry, and to help bridge the gap between first generation owners and their future successors to ensure our Industry thrives for generations to come! If elected I will serve NICA and this Industry with dignity and respect. “Together We Can!”

Kim Barr, CCE

Pacific Crest Concessions • Caldwell, ID I have been in the Concession business for 33 years! My husband and I started out both working full-time jobs and did Fairs on vacation time, working many years that way. We worked diligently to gain more Fairs and we finally accomplished that in the mid 2000’s; my husband quit his full-time job and I was able to quit mine the following year, doing our business then FULL-TIME! We’ve worked hard, giving up many family events, vacations to fun places, etc. At times we felt bad for missing out, as well as our kids having to work many summers without having time with friends. But looking back, it has made ALL three of our boys better for it! And we wouldn’t change it. Before the Pandemic our youngest son Mat and his wife Lynn worked 16

July 2021 NICA News

Attention Voting Members! We will be sending out both electronic and paper ballots on July 15th to Voting Members. Members without email, non-working ones, or those with a shared email address will be sent a copy of the election ballot via mail. If you have a new email or mailing address, or you would like to fill out a mail-in ballot instead, please contact us at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org as soon as possible; to ensure a timely and accurate delivery, we recommend contacting us by July 9th. Votes must be sent in by September 30, 2021. ▲ the Industry with us, and we brought our middle son Nate on as well. When the Pandemic hit us hard, they all took it upon themselves to get jobs to support them through this mess! I wouldn’t change my life for anything. We are hard working and LOVE THIS INDUSTRY MORE THAN ANYTHING! Our Fair family is a very very important part of our life! The first thing I ask when I meet a new Concessionaire is “Are you a NICA Member?” It always starts a conversation where we discuss mutual interests and often I have found a new friend. I have been a NICA Member since 2012. I started serving the West Council in 2014 before becoming an Ex-Officio Board Member in 2019; this year I was elected Treasurer and serve on the Finance Committee. NICA encourages us to communicate and work with our Fairs. I believe communication between Fairs, Concessions, and Commercial Vendors is improving and that we are working together more. And more importantly, we have become professional operators who are focused on quality and guest service because of the learning opportunities that NICA provides. TOGETHER WE CAN AND WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

Dan Lusenhop

Jeanne’s Artichokes • Camarillo, CA Some of you may recognize me; I am Dan Lusenhop, a Past President of NICA. I’ve decided to run for a Director seat on the Board since I feel that we all have more to give. I look forward to working with some new faces and bringing different experiences from a wide mix of the country. I am a third generation Concession and Commercial Vendor; my family and I operate mostly on the West Coast and have been in business since 1976. I joined NICA as a founding member of NICA West and have served on both the NICA West Council and the NICA Board. I’ve been involved in Strategic Planning, Fundraising, Benefits and Rebates and have continued to promote Membership growth. NICA has enriched my life and our business to support us as individual Vendors and spearhead through communication to resolve Industry issues as they occur. One of my personal goals is to give back in some small way; in the spirit of NICA, several fellow Vendors and I supported events recently to help support FFA and 4H and the Agricultural Industry. These are the future leaders of our Industry and this great country of ours! With your approval, I look forward to continuing to serve our great organization and feel we have just scratched the surface when it comes to Membership growth and potential benefits. I shall always keep in mind the fellow members that we serve. ►► “Candidates” continued on page 21 July 2021 NICA News


Back to Business in Minnesota Dennis Larson, CFE, Central East Council Coordinator

Leftovers From the Year With a Virus Rightfully so, we would prefer to move on from the business models created for 2020 and not ever look back. We are all familiar with the old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and in 2020 it was more like, “Crisis was the mother of creativity.” Perhaps this begs the question, “Should we clean out the refrigerator of all those 2020 creative leftovers… some wrapped in foil, some in plastic, some in the classic Tupperware bowl, or perhaps optimistically, some in the deep freeze for that ‘just in case’ we may ever need to try that again someday?” A quick recap of some leftovers: the invention of the “Drive-Thru Fair Food event” was a resounding success in many markets, as well as the “reverse parade,” where the parade features remained still, while the spectators moved slowly

Rob Miller, Miller Concessions, at a Fair Food pop-up event at Northtown Mall in Blaine, MN

by them. Of course, there was a plethora of drive-in events, too… pop-up movies, concerts, art shows, farmers’ markets, and so on. All of these were a natural for what Fairs and Concessionaires do best: adapt, change lanes, and using the everpopular term, pivot, to create new business models. One good to come of this negative virus was the renewed synergy between Fairs and Concessionaires. We had good working relationships in the past, yet this crisis really brought forth the need for each other since we were all in the same boat. (At times it may have seemed like our boat was the Titanic.) The lifeboats we created to help save us brought us together even more. As the other cliche goes, “A rising tide raises all boats.” So, all that being said, “What leftovers do we This Fair Food pop-up event also hosted a Carnival operated by Randy Forcier, Fair Goodies / Gopher State Amusements hang onto and what leftovers do we throw out of


July 2021 NICA News

the fridge in the next few months?” I’d say let’s hang on to most everything for now since we don’t know yet when we may have the need or a hankering for one or more of those 2020 creative dishes. The new markets and creative revenue streams may have a new place; but we’ll hope we will only use them as a positive option because we want to implement them and not because we have to use them again. One example of a leftover from 2020 implemented by a couple of long-standing NICA Members (Rob Miller, Miller Concessions and Randy Forcier, Gopher State Amusements) was a simple still date, pop-up Carnival and Food event in the Northtown Mall parking lot in Blaine, MN, just north of Minneapolis. Though not necessarily new or creative, it did show the pent-up demand for what we have to offer. The day I visited the weekend before Memorial Day, the lines were long at the ticket booths for rides, games, and all the classic Fair Foods. We better be ready to “hit it and get it” since pent-up customer demand seems to be waiting for us, as much as we are waiting for them.

Matt Ribar, Duke’s Poutine, at the Back to the Fifties Weekend event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, MN

staff, took on the challenge to successfully open in less than six weeks by pooling their resources. On this picture-perfect weather weekend 10,000 registered street rods, thousands of car geeks and gawkers, along with non-car folks, who just wanted to enjoy an event for the first time in months, arguably made this event the largest gathering in Minnesota State Fairgrounds Events the state since the Pandemic shuttered all public events last year. Tens of thousands enjoyed this Get Back as it Looks to the Future.... three-day event. Since 1974, the MSRA has enjoyed a long Gentleman and Ladies, start your engines running relationship with the Minnesota State Fair please: the Minnesota State Fairgrounds hosted events department, when they only utilized a few the 47th annual MSRA (Minnesota Street Rod blocks of the Fairgrounds with a couple hundred Association) Back to the Fifties Weekend. It was registered cars. With over 10,000 registered street originally canceled for the second year due to rods, the event has grown to using most of the the virus and CDC state mandates. Then on May 300-acre Fairgrounds. Hundreds of auto suppliers 9th the state of Minnesota suddenly relaxed its set up a grounds-wide trade show offering fewer-than-10,000-only-in-attendance-at-anypublic-gatherings rule. With that change the MSRA, everything from brake pads to spark plugs, and from entire front suspensions to some of the best in cooperation with Minnesota State Fair events high-end auto washes and waxes available. The stages were filled with nostalgic 50’s music. Many of the ladies sported poodle skirts and saddle shoes while many of the guys had their “greaser” slicked backed hairdos and their black leather jackets. They all looked like actors from the classic movie Grease which helped perpetuate the feel of this classic American 50’s era event. All this atmosphere topped off with a mixture of the best Fair Foods available equaled the perfect early summer outing. Food emphasis was The Minnesota Street Rod Association Back to the Fifties Weekend event showcased 10,000 registered street rods

►► “Minnesota” continued on page 20 July 2021 NICA News


“Minnesota” continued from page 19 ►► on burgers, fries, onion rings, and malts. The smell of burgers on the grill, fried onions and deep-fried corn dogs wafting through the air was the perfect aromatic topping to these three nostalgia-driven days. Most foods available were provided by local NICA Member Food Vendors, like Tim “Giggles” Weiss of Giggles Campfire Grill, Matt Ribar of Duke’s Poutine, and Isabella Barona of the Pickle Palace. They all reported one of the best Saturdays in their long histories with the event. They also reiterated how great it was to be back doing what they do best and enjoy doing most…serving great Fair Food to the public. Here’s hoping this is a wonderful beginning to a long and healthy Summer Event, Festival and Fair season for all! ▲

Past Scholarship Recipient Isabella Barona, Giant Slide, working the Barona’s Pickle Palace “joint”

Tim “Giggles” Weiss, Giggles Campfire Grill outside of his location during the event

“Announcements” continued from page 10 ►►

Betsy Hutchins, Rainbow Concessions, Has Passed It is with great sadness that we report that Betsy Anne Hutchins, of Fort Mohave, AZ, has passed away. Betsy, 52, passed on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 from a sudden illness. She was born March 2, 1969. She is survived by her husband, Robert of Fort Mohave; three sisters; and two brothers of Lander, WY; and a multitude of other family members and friends around the country. She owned and operated Rainbow Concessions dba Blue & White Concessions along with her husband Robert Hutchins, and became a NICA Member in 2007. She specialized in serving hamburgers, corn dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and candy apples at Fairs and Festivals in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Betsy was a very faithful member of NICA and WFA and she supported the Industry in any way she could. There was a memorial service on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints in Bullhead City, AZ. Our deepest sympathies to the Hutchins Family during this difficult time. To post a memory or condolence message, visit http://shorturl.at/glxDH. ▲

Congratulations to the Gottsche Family! Jessica Gottsche, NICA East Council Coordinator, and Robert Gottsche, Eastern States Exposition Sales Manager, welcomed their newborn baby boy, Robert Michael Gottsche, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 1:00 AM. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 20.5” long. Jessica comments, “We’re all doing well!” Welcome Robert Michael Gottsche to the NICA family! ▲

Now Offering Online Advertising Opportunities for NICA Members In addition to our normal advertising opportunities, including NICA News and the NICA Membership Directory, we have developed advertising space on our website at www.nicainc.org and our NICA Now! emails. Both opportunities are on a month-to-month basis with many locations to choose from to showcase your business. For more information contact communications@nicainc.org today! ▲ 20

July 2021 NICA News

“Candidates” continued from page 17 ►►

Jay Wells

Wells Concessions • Wichita, KS For those who don’t recognize me or know me let me introduce myself. I live in Kansas, have all my life. I am a first generation Concessionaire, caught the bug in 1982. Loved it from the minute I started and knew this was my life’s work. Primarily I played in the Midwest and Southwest, but recently the West Coast. I found it interesting how the different regions think and operate. I have been a member of the NICA West Council for the past six years, and a member of the Benefits Committee for the last two years. I am also a member of Showman’s League of America, WFA (Western Fairs Association), IAFE (International Association of Fairs and Expositions), and several state organizations for many years and attend their yearly conventions. This has allowed me to learn and understand the effort it takes to work together for the advancement of an organization. I have gained more knowledge from my years on the NICA Councils and my interaction with my colleagues there. I recently worked on and we have acquired a new benefit (the NEW tire discount, watch for the rollout coming soon) for our NICA organization through the Benefits Committee. Welcome Goodyear! Thank you for this opportunity to continue to serve the NICA organization in this new capacity and I would ask for and appreciate your vote of confidence. If you have questions, I am available by phone at 316-393-7009 or email me at jaywells@cox.net. ▲

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San Mateo County Fair Opens! Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Meet Fair advocates, Dana Stoehr, President and CEO, and Justin Aquino, Fair Operations Manager, of San Mateo County Event Center. More than a year after serving as a pivotal location for San Mateo County’s COVID-19 response, the Event Center staff was eager to welcome the community back to its annual County Fair. This team is steadfast and passionate about their Fair and the many Vendors who participate in their Fair. On June 8th I visited the San Mateo County Fair because I wanted to support their decision to have a Fair and say thank you. Like many Fairs, President and CEO Dana Stoehr knew the Event Center she directed did not need to produce a Fair because they were plenty busy with county and city contracts. However, she also understood unequivocally that her Vendor partners had not worked for over a year, and they needed to work to survive. Therefore, San Mateo County Fair was the first Fair in Northern California to announce they would produce a Fair no matter what guidelines existed at the time of opening. When they made this decision, California was only allowing them 15% capacity and drive through rather than walk through options. Masks, social distancing, temperature taking, buildings full of PPE, and individual packaging of everything were the norm of the day. Fair Operations Manager Justin Aquino began laying out a Fair path that could be driven through or walked on in-person. The layout provided all the aspects of a traditional Fair—from chickens to 22

July 2021 NICA News

Dana Stoehr, President and CEO, and Justin Aquino, Fair Operations Manager, San Mateo County Fair

pigs, from photography to art, from food to games, from rides to commercial exhibits, and of course entertainment throughout. For instance, collectively they had over 2000 entries in photography, garden landscape, fine arts, STEAM, and quilting. Other exhibits included the Domini Hoskins Black History Museum, 10 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a robotics competition, a family game zone, and a new interactive display called “Sweet: A Tasty Journey” which details the history of various sweet treats. Due to COVID-19 concerns they moved their evening entertainment stage outside and placed it at the top end of a grass covered park plaza that was encircled by food stands. They also moved their dates up one week so as not to overlap the Alameda County Fair dates any longer.

Concession Plan One of the things they realized right away was that if there were going to be fewer Fair guests there also needed to be fewer food stands and attractions, so in October 2020 they began working with their Vendors to downsize their food spaces from 22 to 12 and rides from 30 to 18. They did so based on availability, interest, and product diversity. Changed Fair procedures included waived deposits, allowing tips, and removing set beverage prices. The result was that most stands experienced revenue days that were in their top five ever including anywhere they played.

Government Agency Plan They opened one week prior to the June 15 opening of California in the yellow tier with a 35% capacity (approximately 10,000 per day) and an in-person Fair where masks were required except when eating. The exhibit building accommodated CDC required large aisles and the layout accommodated the Health Department’s requirement of designated seating at every stand and in a grass filled plaza. Early in the year when they became a vaccine site, they planned for the vaccine site to move to the airport during the Fair, thus securing the possibility of holding the Fair. The Event Center and the County also agreed that during the Fair, vaccines would continue to be available at the gate and those who received one would obtain a complimentary admission for themselves and anyone under 11 years old, a $20 in food vouchers ($1 for $1 value) and four free carnival ride tickets. They gave approximately 1,250 vaccinations. When the city began its underground sewer project in the parking lot, the Event Center negotiated to have a RV park built on top of it ready for occupancy during the 2022 Fair and an expansion of a gate to better accommodate semitrucks. Building strong county and city relationships contributed to their success. From the beginning of the Pandemic, they followed guidelines carefully and required others to do so as well. They also kept agencies and vendor companies well informed of updates and changes. Building trust allowed them to negotiate when it mattered. They understood that asking agencies to assist them in being compliant is much stronger than making

arguments against their guidelines. When it came Fair time, agencies were already on board to make the Fair a positive experience for their community.

Changes to Keep Justin confirmed my often-stated belief that, “length of stay drives per capita spending.” Being required for safety reasons to expand their seating increased their length of stay and therefore their per capita spending significantly. They have budgeted to purchase more tables and seating for the 2022 Fair. Again, to meet guidelines they also boosted the number of handwashing stations from four to eight and placed several of them in the food plaza area. They learned the guest appreciated the convenience of being able to wash their hands after eating without having to find a restroom. As a customer service they plan to purchase more hand washing stations for the 2022 Fair. Historically their main entertainment stage had been in a building. Due to concerns about social distancing, the safety of indoor activities, and lack of space they placed the stage at the top end of the food plaza in a large open tent. The public embraced it. They sat in seats, stood outside, ate food and sipped beverages at tables, and plopped on the grass. It added capacity without Fire Marshall issues and added length of stay, value, and pleasure for the guest. The stage will stay outside. Aquino said he was “grateful to host a Fair during the Pandemic because it caused them to embrace enhancements that will prove beneficial to the Fair in the future.”

In Summary Who knew the San Mateo County Fair would be the only traditional County Fair to open in the San Francisco Bay area during the 2021 Summer season? Once it looked like guidelines would accommodate an in-person Fair, it was a twomonth sprint to open with 1/3 of their full-time staff and some borrowed Sister Fair employees. Guidelines changed so often and fast from April to June that they finally settled on a non-specific sign that said “all California health and safety guidelines must be adhered to upon entry.” When all was said ►► “San Mateo” continued on page 24 July 2021 NICA News


“San Mateo” continued from page 23 ►► and done Justin called it “The Miracle Fair.” NICA Members also hosted a Fair Participant Gathering that included a roundtable with President and CEO Dana Stoehr and Executive Director Rey O’Day answering questions and a delicious lunch of taquitos, salad, and cookies provided by Noel’s Foods and Sleek Greek. O’Day spoke of NICA benefit programs, how proud she was of the focus and confidence that everyone brought to the planning and re-opening of the Fair, and thanked Dana and Justin for their unwavering passion. Stoehr affirmed that “it was time to focus on what is in the best interest of everyone. The key ingredient of the ‘recipe for success’ is to have something that makes everyone happy. It is not about what one entity wants, it is about creating something good and advantageous for all parties involved.” I would add that “Together We Can” is the only way we can create win-win situations and remarkably successful Fairs! One of our West Council members had the last word in the Daily Journal dated 6-5-21: “Brandy


July 2021 NICA News

Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Dana Stoehr, President and CEO, San Mateo County Fair, at the Fair Participant Gathering

Arredondo CCE, a six-generation Fair Vendor and co-owner of Noel’s Mexican Food, shared her appreciation for San Mateo County Fair staff who she said have also focused on safety in planning the event. After roughly 16 months out of work, she said she is looking forward to her family’s return to the Fair scene, a job that normally requires between six to 10 months of travel a year. ‘For us it was very emotional,’ said Arredondo. ‘We’re back and we’re so thankful for that.’” ▲

Getting to Know Your

Regional Council Members We had the chance to interview the East Council’s very own Gentry Miller, based out of North Liberty, IN. His responses are below: What is the name of your company and what products do you sell? Our company is The Ringmaster LLC. Most people are familiar with our doughnut operation, Josephine’s Glazed Doughnuts. We also run several other stands including Corn Dogs, Turkey Legs, Chicken Tenders, and Sirloin Tip Dinners. What is your annual route? We mostly work the Southeast and do a short run through Indiana. How long have you been a NICA Member and who recruited you?

Gentry Miller showing off some of his specialty doughnuts

I’m not for certain, but probably about 10 years. What is your most valuable NICA Benefit? My dad recruited me to NICA. The open lines of communication created Is your family active in the business? between Fairs and Concessionaires. Finding new My wife Emily and I run our business together. ways to communicate our principles more often Our two children Vera and Gatsby travel with us. and more efficiently is a personal goal of mine, We both came from the business. My parents and something I intend to continue passionately operate Miller Food Concessions, which sells a working for in the years to come. variety of traditional Fair Food, and my father is What inspired you to join the NICA East Council? a Past NICA President. Emily’s parents operate Colglazier Enterprises, and are mostly known for Vincent Nelson, CCE asked me to be a part of their Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips. the East Council. I always enjoyed volunteering for various tasks with NICA and was excited to be able to be a part of NICA in a greater capacity. What do you hope the NICA East Council accomplishes during your tenure? My term is coming towards an end. I was part of the first Southeast Council and my goal was to learn from my peers, and help to create a Council that will grow and cultivate future leadership. I certainly learned a lot, and am confident we have a good thing going with the East Council we have today. We appreciate your responses Gentry! What is the best way for a NICA Member to reach you? Josephine’s Glazed Doughnuts operating in South Florida

Call or text me at (304) 646-6917. ▲ July 2021 NICA News


WE ARE READY! Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Concern that Fairs are announcing events at the last minute, products are requiring longer lead times, employees are challenging to find, money is tight, capacity regulations limit success, and safety guidelines are changing daily has made us ask “What will it be like to open Fairs again?” and “How do we prepare for it?” Yet, there is nothing we want more than to be back working at Fairs. We have been closed up for a long time and now it is time to throw open the windows, unlock new doors, and travel highways we may have traveled before. At the beginning of the year, many Fairs were cancelling, postponing, hopscotching, or downsizing; yet big and small Fairs in Florida were opening. They showed us there was a light at the end of tunnel. After being open at Florida Fairs for two months, the West Council asked Kathy Ross, CCE to share her answers to the above questions. Her advice was “While it might be a little messy, do not overthink it. Not much is different: there are customers, they buy your food, they use cash and credit cards, you clean your stands, and usually the employees wear masks.” She added, “It is fun and a relief to be open, so be grateful and enjoy it.” The Strawberry Festival opened with entertainment in tents and sanitizing seats following every performance. Food servers wore masks, the public was undecided about masks: some wore them, some did not, and we all kept our distance. Visually cleaning stands became part of active customer service. NICA Members held their last official social gathering before COVID-19 at this Fair, and as events started to reopen, NICA’s first official Social Fair Gathering was at this Fair. Though the Florida State Fair had to move its dates from February out to April to open, it opened respecting the guidelines of that time regarding capacity and sanitation. Commercial Exhibitor aisles were wider and there were fewer of them present. A “Masks Required” sign adorned the Ferris Wheel. CEO Cheryl Flood told me she was determined and proud to open. NICA Members gathered for breakfast and were inspired by the performance of Marc Dobson and the chance to sing God Bless America together. 26

July 2021 NICA News

South Florida Fair kicked off the Fair Season in January

The South Florida Fair opted for the flexibility of a two-for-one: a successful, “Mini Fair” in January declared loud and clear that “The Industry was Open for Business” and a much bigger Fair in May that reflected slowly changing safety guidelines. In January, temperatures were being taken and masks were worn by everyone. By May, we were beginning to understand that outdoor events were NOT COVID-19 spreaders. I attended on a rainy day, which meant I saw less of the Fair than I wanted to and had more time to visit with our members. I personally collected my first New Member application in over a year and NICA partnered with Wade Shows to host a well-attended Jamboree to raise funds for OABA, NICA, and our mutual H-2B work. As we look around the country, some Fairs have continued to hold Drive-Thru events that they produce, or they ask a third-party Vendor to produce. As Fair fans tired of being and eating in their cars, Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, CA experimented with a “Grab-N-Stay Fair Food Feast,” where guests parked their cars, grabbed some food, and ate at tables in a park-like setting on the grounds. Where Fairs have chosen to skip 2021 and have posted 2022 dates, Carnivals are renting County Fairgrounds during what would have been the 2021 Fair dates to run a still spot. Branding it as “Summerfest: Carnival Rides/Games and Food Event,” Kastl Amusements is doing that with Ventura County Fairgrounds and Midway of Fun is doing that at the Yolo County Fairgrounds. Silver Dollar Fair in Chico, CA branded their event the

“Memorial Day Carnival and Food Festival.” Also, on Memorial Day weekend, the Minnesota State Fair hosted “The Kick-Off to Summer” an event with food, entertainment, and some retail. These events are often bound by capacity and use a different event name to safeguard their County or State Fair brand and prevent confusing the public. Here is what we know: re-opening is happening quickly and in many forms. For instance, COVID protocols are shifting so quickly that Fairs have moved to generic signage that states “All COVID protocols in effect at the time of opening will be followed.” And the other thing we know is “The public is ready to come out in droves to enjoy their local Fairs.” (This is a quote from Jackie Bradbury, CCE, Secretary, regarding her recent experience playing the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, TX). To the call of re-opening, our members are again spreading out across the country and whenever possible we take time to gather… to create fellowship, reignite our joyful spirits, catch up, and strengthen our Fair family ties. ▲

July 2021 NICA News


MEMBER CLASSIFIEDS Is your Fair in search of the next big thing, a unique item, or even some all-around help for your Fair in Concessions or Straight Sales? Alternatively, are you a Concessionaire or Vendor who needs to sell equipment or in need of staff? We can help no matter what the need! Contact us at (813) 530-4750 or communications@nicainc.org to learn more.

Outside Sales Representative Fare Foods is currently seeking an OUTSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE. The ideal candidate will process orders and solicit new qualifying business. You will also be required to assist drivers with customer deliveries and customer needs. • • • •

Full time position Computer skills required Excellent customer service skills a must Candidate will be required to travel (company vehicle provided) • Previous Amusement/Carnival or food service experience preferred • Generous benefit package

Apply today! If you want to become a part of a fast growing family owned food service company, this job is for you! Please send a resume to sharsy@farefoods.com. Visit us online at www.farefoods.com or call 1-800-651-1601. ▲

Restaurant Building & Business For Sale MARKET DEVELOPMENT: With this current asset remaining relatively inexpensive, in this 1st quarter, NOW is the time to take advantage of this great investment. With Markets rebounding with a strong rapid recovery, Investors are moving onward and upward and looking right through the current wall of worry and focusing on where the economy can go, versus the current state of the economy. They are seeing a future of desirable profitable results. Snatch it up, don’t get left behind! Turnkey, Well Established, Profitable, Yearly Blue-Ribbon Winning State Fair located Business, Special Events, including continuous “Drive-Thru includes 2160’ Air-Conditioned Permanent Fair Food” called “Taste of the Fair.” Building, Equipment, Supplies, Inventory, Indoor Call Theresa at (561) 386-1709 or email Seating, Take-Out Window, servicing Fair and theresa@tcjohnsonrealty.com. ▲

Radio Equipment for Sale Liquidating equipment including radios, chargers and microphones. Radios include (3) CP200s and (4) SP50s, miscellaneous chargers, three microphones with clips. Whole box for $425 or best offer. Contact Cheryl at (515) 707-3585 or ccmckinney@hotmail.com if interested. 28

July 2021 NICA News

Advertise Your Business in

We have a variety of sizes to suit your ad—contact us at (813) 438-8926 or communications@nicainc.org

2021 Membership Contest Leaderboard* Renewal Members ($2000 Gift of Travel) Family Owned & Operated • Serving Our Customers Since 1904

Proudly serving the concessions

industry with their produce needs.

Distributed Through Fare Foods Call 800-651-1601 For More Information

For a complete list of Renewal Members, eligible for the $2000 Gift of Travel, view our Contest page online at www.nicainc.org/contests

Referrals: General Membership Jeff Beaver........................................................................... 1 Cameron Murray.................................................................. 1 Ron Porter............................................................................ 1 Mike Schantz........................................................................ 1

Referrals: Board of Directors Thomas Hodson, CCE.......................................................... 3 Sandy Class, CCE................................................................. 2 Kathy Ross, CCE................................................................... 1

*Listing as of 5/31/21. See back cover for rules.

Follow Us Online!

Visit www.nicainc.org or search NICA on social media to stay in the know.

Try Our...

Original Texas Tenderloins • Pizza Patties Premium Beef Patties • Beef Philly Steaks Pork Fritters • Jumbo Hoagies • Sausages Marinated Ribeyes & More

Hand Tossed Pizza Crust

From the golden color to its hand formed edge, our old world style par-baked flat bread has all the characteristics of

a home made pizza crust. You’ll be delighted to serve this to your most discerning clientele.


Toronto, Ontario, Canada | www.tetibakery.com Family Owned and Operated • USDA Inspected



Our products are available for purchase from Fare Foods. Talk to your sales representative or call for details 800-651-1601. July 2021 NICA News


With over 65 years of insurance expertise, K&K protects concessionaires and vendors with affordable coverage designed for your needs. And when claims occur, our colleagues are here to respond quickly and effectively. Visit our website to quote and buy online.

EventInsurance-KK.com K&K Insurance Group, Inc. is a licensed insurance producer in all states (TX license #13924); operating in CA, NY and MI as K&K Insurance Agency (CA license #0334819)


July 2021 NICA News

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc.

For Off ice Use Only

1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Phone: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 Email: nica@nicainc.org • Website: www.nicainc.org

Date: #: q Member Renewal


First Name:

Last Name:

Name of Business: Physical Address: Mailing Address:

City :

City :

Primary Phone Number :





Cell / Secondary Phone Number :



Age Range: q 20-35 q 35-50 q 51-70 q 70+ q Other:

NICA News Preference: q Mail q Email

Referred by :

Annual Membership Fees Associate Membership

Regular Membership q

A person or entity who provides services to the Concession Industry.

Regular Member..............................................................$150


Fair / Festival (over 75,000 attendance)......................$150


Fair / Festival (under 75,000 attendance)...................$100

q Retired Member................................................................. $50


Manufacturer / Distributor / Supplier...........................$150

Business / Group Membership


Carnival / Circus Operator..............................................$150


Association / Special Services......................................$150

q Additional Member..........................................................$100 q Employee Member............................................................. $75

Includes five Memberships in one: one Regular Member, one Additional Member, and three Employee Members ($475 value).


Business / Group.............................................................$400

Additional Member : _______________________________________ Employee Member 1: ______________________________________ Employee Member 2: ______________________________________ Employee Member 3: ______________________________________ Regular membership categories Check a category below and provide a detailed description of your company’s services in the next column under Business Description.

Business Description Provide a detailed description of your business, products, and/or services below. This information will be used for your entry in the annual NICA Membership Directory and as keywords to search for your business on the NICA website.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Food / Beverage


Commercial Exhibitors / Retail / Merchants



Attractions / Entertainment


Cash q






Guest Services

Credit Card #:

General Routing Information List all states / provinces where you conduct your business.






Security Code:

Money Order q


American Express



Expiration Date:


___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance The NICA-sponsored $10,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Policy is provided to Regular Members. List a beneficiary and a phone number below.

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________

Applicant’s signature


Signature of Credit Card Holder q I authorize NICA to charge the agreed amount listed above to my credit card information provided above. I agree I will pay for this purchase in accordance with the issuing bank cardholder agreement.

Automatic Renewal Option q I authorize NICA to make automatic renewal payments for my Membership using the credit card information above. I shall update NICA with all changes to payment information or my intent to cancel automatic renewal payments prior to my next renewal month.

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • July 2021 Issue