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December 2017


LAST CALL for MAI, Inc. Scholarships and Director Nominations

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Contents The Official Publication of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association


Millions of Fairgoers will Experience Magic Money™ in 2018 — A Better Way to Pay and Play . . . . . . . . . Firestone Financial Wants Carnival Customers to Take Half the Season Off from Payments! . . . . Al Belmont Named 2017 Recipient Milbourne Christopher “Master of Magic” Award for “Notable Contributions to the Art of Magic” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10 11

December 2017



Wrapping Up the Year

State and Federal Legislation and Regulations

6 ASSOCIATION BUZZ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

8 ON THE EARIE Tom Powell reports on the industry’s shows, fairs, colorful show folks and amusing events.



The OABA catches members in action.

GOVERNMENT Features 29 INSIDE THE BELTWAY: TAX REFORM CONSUMES THE DC AGENDA By John Ariale, Cloakroom Advisors – OABA’s Government Relations Team



Rodney Huey follows circuses around the country.

Jammin’ Jamborees and Contribution Fund Drawing Winners



Twitter @oabainfo

Instagram @oaba51

Read with Smartphone Bar Code Scanner

Our Mission: To promote the preservation and growth of the

outdoor amusement industry through leadership, advocacy and education.

All advertisements appearing in this ShowTime publication are paid by the advertiser and the OABA reserves the right to refuse any advertising. The ads are provided on an “as is” basis and do not necessarily carry the endorsement of the OABA. In addition, the OABA does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the information, products, or services of any corporation, organization, or person contributing to this publication.

ShowTime PUBLISHER|MANAGING EDITOR Robert Johnson 407.681.9444 H EDITOR Dee Dee Alford 407.681.9444 H GRAPHIC DESIGN Avic-Versi Creative Jen Burge H 817.602.7254 H ADVERTISING SALES Dee Dee Alford 407.681.9444 H ASSOCIATION OFFICE Outdoor Amusement Business Assn., Inc. 1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Suite 1045A Winter Park, FL 32792 407.681.9444 H fax 407.681.9445 © Outdoor Amusement Business Assn. 2017



CHAIR E. J. Dean 1ST VICE CHAIR Jay Strates 2ND VICE CHAIR Larry Yaffe 3RD VICE CHAIR Debbie Powers TRUSTEE 2016 Thomas J. Gaylin, III TRUSTEE 2015 Michael Wood TRUSTEE 2014 Chris Lopez TREASURER Mitchell Kaliff PRESIDENT Bob Johnson

OABA DIRECTORS Michael Brajevich Stephen Broetsky Doug Burtch Tony Cassata Brad Dallman Andy Deggeller Michael Doolan Blake Huston Stacey Jamieson

Marc Janas Mary Johnson Michael Lauther Charlene Leavitt Ron Morris Lance Moyer Ben Pickett Rick Reithoffer Lorelei Schoendienst

Patrick Sheridan Scott Siefker Mary Chris Smith Greg Stewart Holly Swartz Rob Vivona

Mike Featherston-2013 Jeanne McDonagh-2012 Bill Johnson-2011 Dominic Vivona, Jr.-2010 Wayne McCary-2009 Andy Schoendienst-2008 John Hanschen-2007 Guy Leavitt-2006 Ron Burback-2005 Don Deggeller-2004 James E. Strates-2003 * Jackie Swika-2002 Danny Huston-2001 Jeff Blomsness-2000 Sam Johnston-1999 Buddy Merten-1998 * Richard Janas-1997 Jean Clair-1996 James Murphy-1995 Dominic Vivona-1994 * Bill Dillard, Sr.-1993 Tom Atkins-1992 * Red Wood-1991 * Deceased

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* Billy Burr-1990 Bob Coleman, Sr.-1989 * Milt F. Kaufman-1988 * Andy Andersen-1987 * John Vivona-1986 * Mike Farino-1985 James H. Drew, III-1984 Gerald L. Murphy-1983 * John A. Campi-1982 * Buster L. Brown-1981 * Hub Luehrs-1980 * Lloyd J. Hilligoss-1979 * Hal F. Eifort-1978 * Alfred H. Kunz-1977 * P.E. Reithoffer, Jr.-1976 * Bernard P. Thomas-1975 E. James Strates-1974 * Rod Link-1973 * C.J. Sedlmayr-1972 * John Portemont-1971 * William T. Collins-1966-70 * W.G. Wade-1965

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Wrapping Up the Year E. J. Dean, OABA Chair 2017


t’s always bittersweet to come to the end of the season, put the equipment away and enjoy “home” for a while before it starts back up in a few months. However, being a “40-miler” I find myself being away from home more in the off-season than when I’m on the road. After drawing the curtain on our season (Halloween night) I found myself jetting off to D.C. for two days to continue working, along with OABA Trustees John Hanschen and Michael Wood, Directors Mick Brajevich and Patrick Sheridan, and President Bob Johnson. I was pleased to see my carnival friends from the Northeast; Betty Gillette, Harold Fera and Joanne Miller with her daughter Ashley. I know others from our industry were there, meeting with their legislators towards finding long-term solutions with our government to ensure the viability of the H2-B program; and more importantly, access to a qualified labor pool that works for everyone. If you are a user of the H2-B program, hopefully you were able to get your labor for the majority of the season, or at least once relief came that it was beneficial. Unfortunately, there were far too many stories being told by those who did not receive them and of the challenges and difficulties they faced. In October the OABA reached out to its board of directors and our membership to raise much-needed funds to support our Political Action Committee (PAC) fund. Our call was heard by many and I thank everyone who contributed or reached out to ask individuals. In just a few weeks’ time we were able


to rejuvenate our account with almost $60,000 in donations and pledges. For me, this is the greatest affirmation that the industry feels the OABA is on the right track with our lobbyists on the H-2B visa program. From there I came back home only for a short while before taking off once again on a series of destinations. My first stop was to see Tammy (OABA director) and Russ Kissel of Kissel Entertainment in operation, followed by a stop over to the James H. Drew winter quarters to see what amazing projects OABA Trustee Jimmy Drew and his son, Jim, have in store for this winter. Then it was straight down to Orlando for the IAAPA tradeshow and the OABA fall board meeting, followed immediately by a family Thanksgiving cruise, and a seven-hour turn around out to Las Vegas for the IAFE Convention. I’m starting to think that being on the road is less hectic! Unfortunately, I was unable to get out this season to see as many shows and faces as I had thought I would, but rest assured, there is still some time for me to “pop-in” before this year is up. By the time this issue is sent out we will be wrapping up the year as well. I am excited for 2018 and to see the many improvements and additions that we all work so hard to produce during the “off” time. From the Dean family to you and your families, wishing all Happy Holidays. I look forward to seeing you soon at our industry trade shows and conventions. H

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CALENDAR January 7–12, 2018 AIMS Safety Seminar

Baton Rouge, LA

ASTM F24 Meeting

The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans, LA

Sheraton Tampa East Hotel Tampa, Florida

February 19–23

February 27–March 1

38th Annual Northwestern Showmen’s Club Safety Seminar

Pennsylvania Amusement Ride Safety Seminar

Oaks Amusement Park, Portland, OR


MembershipsSold Tracy Creason

Ray Cammack Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Powers Great American Midways . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Kissel Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Suzi Corl

Luehrs Ideal Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Skerbeck Entertainment Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Frazier Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Niki Skerbeck

Julie Broetsky

February 14–17

OABA Annual Meeting & Chairman’s Reception

50th IISA Gibtown Extravaganza

Andrew Schoendienst

Sheraton Tampa East Hotel, Tampa, FL

February 9

February 6–9

Madison Kissel

NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods Show

NAARSO Safety Forum

Hilton Galveston & San Luis Resort, Galveston, TX

Gibsonton, FL

February 4–7

January 28-February 2

Show Ambassadors who sign up 25+ memberships receive complimentary OABA membership for appropriate category for the following dues year! TOTAL 745

Red Lion Hotel & Convention Center Hershey, PA


If your Berry-Go-Round, Barrel-of-Fun, Dizzy Dragon or any other Sellner Spin Ride has rotted or soft floors, or needs a complete makeover, give us a call. Our new technology offers a permanent, affordable alternative to replace your floors. Plus, our state-of-the-art paint and fiberglass departments can refurbish your old spin rides to look and perform like new at a price much less than replacement.

507-209-1940 515 Fowler St. | Faribault, MN

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Wishing All Love d Peace d Happiness Bob Johnson, OABA President


ith our fall IAAPA, IAFE, NICA and SLA conventions and trade shows behind us, hopefully many of you are getting some well-deserved downtime with your family, preparing for the holidays and the 2018 New Year. We all know what great networking and learning opportunities take place at these conventions, with the OABA focused on seasonal labor and the H-2B visa program, ASTM and ride safety after the tragic Ohio State Fair accident and our new Virtual On-Line Training (VOLT) program. Our legislative lobbying in DC, legal efforts to fix the regulatory challenges, and continued education of fair management as to the importance for all to get involved and help carnivals, independent ride owners and concessionaires will continue into 2018. Our lobbyists have several strategies our board and stakeholders are pursuing, with the primary focus on a legislative fix for the H-2B visa program in the future. Once again, CAP relief is our most immediate problem going into 2018. The Administration’s “Hire American Buy American” mantra continues to guide DOL and DHS, who oversee the H-2B visa program. With the economic growth, especially small family businesses, the demand for seasonal labor has increased with hotel/lodging, golf resorts, seafood processing, forestry, landscaping, and the entertainment industry.


The J-1 Department of State visa program for young people to work and travel in the U.S. is also coming under fire from the Administration, which will place more demands on the H-2B visa from amusement parks and ski resorts. Thus, there will be more competition for these visas and the prospect of the first and second half CAPS of 33,000 each being maxed out sooner than later. In fact, we expect the first half CAP to be hit in January, compared to March or April in prior years. Your outreach to your representative, while Members of Congress are on recess over the holidays, is critical and necessary for those of you participating in this seasonal visa program. Tell them it’s hard for your seasonal business to grow and prosper and fulfill your fair and event contracts with such labor uncertainty. The OABA has talking points on our website to help you. This year, then-Secretary Kelly of DHS released an additional 15,000 visas, which Congress appropriated but waited until July to do so, delaying H-2B arrivals until August. Thus, CAP relief is critical for 2018. Your OABA is backing two bills in Congress, HR-2004 and S-792, to advance a permanent fix to this seasonal visa program. Please urge your Member of Congress to sign on and support these bills! From all of us at the OABA to all of you and your families, we wish you a joyous Holiday Season and very safe, healthy and prosperous New Year! H

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On The Earie Tom Powell, OABA News Ambassador


Dean of Dean & Flynn Fiesta Shows, Seabrook, NH, 2017 OABA chairman, spoke for many in the industry when he said the Topsfield, MA Fair final date of the year for the carnival, not counting a few small Halloween events, ended what he generously referred to as a moist season. When I first started attending the IISA trade show in Gibsonton, the old timers, of which I am now one, spoke of many things legendary. One was the Topsfield Fair, which was grouped with tales of the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago, The Back of the Yards Carnival at the Chicago Stockyards, the John W. Leahyowned Great Danbury, CT Fair that after 112 years of operation was replaced by a mall in 1981, and the Cotton Carnival in Memphis. I always heard from Bob Commerford, Paul (Duke) Smith, Rene Piche, Jimmy Fry and other New Englanders who played Danbury that it would close at around 6:00 every afternoon, and everybody had already made enough money that day to be happy about it. I used to listen to J. D. Floyd and Billy Baxter of Cumberland Valley Shows telling me about how good the Stockyard date was, it probably being the first independent midway, drawing the best of the best in the business. Back then, Floyd E. Gooding, known as The Monarch of the Midway, operated five or six units at a time from his headquarters in Columbus, OH. I became very well acquainted with Milt Kaufman and Hal Eifort when they operated Gooding’s Million Dollar Midways. Milt was a colorful character in more ways than one, always wearing brightly colored suits complete with a soft hat and necktie. The rumor in those days was that the Boston Mob actually owned the show. I was in Las Vegas when word got around that a guy named Joe Lindsey had flown in from Boston and that when he left,


either Milt or Hal would be gone. It turned out to be true and Christine and I enjoyed many fine meals at nothing but the best restaurants as Milt’s guest after that. Early on I let him know that he did not need to talk to me, being with a trade paper, as he would with the local journalists. He had a propensity to exaggerate, saying there were three identical Million Dollar Midways, each with 100 rides. Nick Santamaria supposedly ran what he called the New England Unit. I visited once at a location near Chicago and he jokingly said he had a Sears built next to the midway to help draw crowds. Milt really was a rabbi. The story goes that Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows, who was then a concession manager for Rod Link, asked how he could justify starting in the business with flat stores at beach locations and being a rabbi. Kaufman said, “One has nothing to do with the other.” Getting back to Topsfield, which was held Sept. 29-Oct. 9, Dave Thompson, who handles marketing and public relations for General Manager J. P. O’Brien, stated that it is the oldest continually operated agricultural fair in the country, having been founded in 1818. Next year will mark its 200th anniversary. That brings up the debate about which fair is the oldest, since the York, PA Interstate Fair was founded in 1765. Deggeller Attractions had a good year on the midway, and food sales were up five percent. Fiesta Shows has provided the midway at Topsfield since the 1950s. Thompson said attendance was not a record, but up over last year which was hurt by bad weather. Asked about his father, Gene Dean Sr., a Notre Dame graduate, E. J. said, “He is the President of Future Development for the show. He renewed his contract for 20 more years. We work well together. My mom (Mary) had a knee operation and he has been busy taking care of her.” Dean said the show was

fortunate to have had 40 foreign workers for the entire season. “I feel bad for those who did not. I know it was a big struggle.” When I talked to Rick Reithoffer earlier in the year he mentioned that Reithoffer Shows has been playing the Delaware County Fair, Walton, NY for 89 years. Ed Rossley, who has been president of that fair for four years and on the board for 20, runs it with his wife, Gretchen. Rossley praised the Reithoffer operation, said he really missed Rick’s dad, Pat, who is deceased, and is always glad to see his mother, Bette, who in her 90s still comes to the fair. “What I remember best is my dad and Pat telling stories about their service during World War II. My dad, Ed, was in the Navy and Pat was in the Air Force. They’d talk about one of them shooting down the enemy from the sky and the other from the sea. I miss those talks.” That reminded me of a time at the Bloomsburg, PA Fair when Pat was telling me about bombing different cities in Germany. “Once while we were at the Oktoberfest in Munich, I wound up talking to a guy who said we didn’t bomb his town. I said ‘like hell we didn’t’, and I went on to tell him exactly when, where and how much damage we inflicted.” My friend Charley Manley and I were enthralled. We couldn’t get enough of his stories. Pat was a true war hero. Rob Miller of Miller Concessions, Foley, MN gave a wrap up to a season that you like to hear. “All in all, our season was one for the records. If the sun was shining, the people were there.” His food operation works throughout the Midwest from April 1 through Oct. 31. He’s been in the business since 1995. “As far as equipment/trailers, we have tried them all. Hitch-Hiker is the one we have settled on. We have just ordered our fourth in as many years.” He added, “Our business consists of 15 trailers offering a wide variety of foods,

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From left, at the Mississippi State Fair, are Lester and Clara Spell, Grace Yeager and Billy Orr, retired executive director of the fair. Lester is former Secretary of Agriculture, and Yeager has been setting her cookhouse up for many years. She booked for years with Mighty Bluegrass Shows. Suzi and Dennis Fraleigh were seen with their London Broil stand at the Minnesota State Fair. Owners of F&W Concessions, they then played The Big E.

From left are Francoise Garceau with two IISA past presidents: Scotty Oakes, center, was 1999 president, and Phillip (Pee Wee) Hoskins was president in 1985 and 1997.

Larry Nieukirk, center, and Sherri Loughlin, Sam’s Amusements, visit with promoter and booker Dean Riley. Nieukirk was IISA president in 2010.

Harold Case, center, a concessionaire with T. J. Schmidt Amusements, draws attention at the Gibtown trade show from Sid Karmia, left, The Toy Factory, and Bill Curry of Billy Curry Ford. While at the trade show in Gibsonton, Tom and Christine Powell toured the massive warehouse owned by Gary McNeal of L&G Concessions. That’s Gary pictured with Christine.

from corn dogs to burgers, cheese curds to fresh squeezed lemonade. One of our most popular items is our flavored cheese curds. This year we were blessed with the opportunity to vend at the Minnesota State Fair.” Who and what will be the legends of tomorrow? Nobody knows but I have a few guesses. Please send news to, or call 615-319-1258. Have all great days, and God Bless! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! H

Jimmy Otterbacher, left, Otterbacher Shows, discusses the season with Greg Striowski who books games with Pat Repp’s unit of North American Midway Entertainment.

Having fun during the trade show in Gibsonton, from left, are Andy, Andrew and Lorelei Schoendienst of Luehrs’ Ideal Rides. Andy was OABA chair in 2008 and Lorelei is an OABA director.

Jane and Hillman Snyder, Jr. booked their Donut Factory all season with Matt McDonagh’s Big Rock Amusements. They formerly owned Snyder & Metts Amusements. Gary Magyoran and his wife, Lauri, travel with North American Midway Entertainment. Gary is concession manager on the unit run by Jeff Blomsness. DECEMBER 2017 | OABA ShowTime Magazine H

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A Great Show Season Begins in the Off Season While others are catching up on their sleep, you’ll be setting the stage for your best year so far. Call today to discuss financing for the rides and equipment that will make 2018 outstanding. We’ll help you make it happen.

Financing Your Outdoor Amusement Dreams Since 2000. Wade Muller Paul Muller

Mark Walker Pam Muller

816-581-0033 • 839 NE Woods Chapel Road • Lee’s Summit, MO 64064 •

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Photo Gallery

Jammin’ Jamborees

OABA Visits Coastal Carolina Fair


2017 OABA Jammin’ Jamboree

OABA Jamborees are fun, exciting and entertaining. They provide an opportunity for everyone on the show to get together and have a great time while doing some good for the OABA.

2017 Jammin’ Jamboree Totals

Powers Great American Midways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31,003 Amusements of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,491 West Coast Amusements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,100 Butler Amusements – Lance’s Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,240 Reithoffer Shows – Blue Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,657 Wright’s Amusements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,000 NAME/Mid America Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,175 NAME/Astro Amusement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,807 NAME/All Star Amusements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,892 Thomas Carnival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,539 Rosedale Attractions & Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,064 A Fantasy Amusement Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,400 Gold Star Amusements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,505 Twentieth Century Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,025 Frazier Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,232 Fiesta Shows/Firestone Financial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,140 Butler Amusements - Mick’s Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,500 PBJ Happee Day Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,400 TOTAL $205,170

2017 OABA Jammin’ Jamboree Schedule OABA President Bob Johnson at the Coastal Carolina Fair visiting with OABA Director Rob Vivona, Amusements of America, and fair board members Jerry Pitts and Gasper Marino.

Twentieth Century Rides, Brownsville, TX . . . . . . . . . March 1 PBJ Happee Day Shows, Marion, AR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 9 A Fantasy Amusement Co.,St. Charles, IL . . . . . . . . . . July 18 Butler Amusements – Lance’s Unit, Sacramento, CA . July 19 Butler Amusements – Mick’s Unit, Turlock, CA . . . . . . July 20 NAME/All Star Amusement, Louisville, KY . . . . . . . . . Aug. 22 Rosedale Attractions & Shows, La Plata, MD . . . . . . . Sept. 13 West Coast Amusements, Victoria, BC, Canada . . . . Sept. 14 NAME/Mid America Shows, Centreville, MI . . . . . . . Sept. 20 Thomas Carnival, Ft. Smith, AR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sept. 24 NAME/Astro Amusements, Tyler, TX . . . . . . . . . . . . Sept. 26 Fiesta Shows/Firestone Financial, Topsfield, MA . . . Sept. 27 Wright’s Amusements, Winnie, TX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct. 2 Powers Great American Midways, Goldsboro, NC . . . . Oct. 5 Gold Star Amusements, DeRidder, LA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct. 8 Belle City Amusements, Gainesville, FL . . . . . . . . . . . Oct. 25 Reithoffer Shows, Pensacola, FL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct. 25 Mitchell Bros. & Sons, Baton Rouge, LA . . . . . . . . . . . Oct. 31 Amusements of America, Charleston, SC . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 2

Seen at the Coastal Carolina Fair – Bill Prowant, Ohio food concessionaire (center), with Butch and Ronnie Netterfield.


Strates Shows, Tallahassee, FL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 8

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Wright’s Amusements – Winnie, TX

Kerry Audrey with his OABA safari hat. Thanks, Kerry, for all your help! Girlean McCall, front center, is the 2017 President of the Rice Festival, pictured with board members.

Mark Vigil kept everyone in good spirits!

Mary Cooper sold the tip boards. Thanks to Robert Hoffpauir, Huff’s DJ Service, who provided the sound system for the Jamboree.

Bobby O’Conner was the highest bidder for many auction items.

The OABA Jamboree theme was sports!

The three referees, from left, were Mary Cooper, Amanda Ring and Tammy Davidson. The live auction crew was Pat Pryor, Rice Festival Committee, and Gregg DeRusha, Al’s son.

Thanks to the Hernandez’s for bidding on many items. They have been with the show for six years, from Vera Cruz, Mexico. DECEMBER 2017 | OABA ShowTime Magazine H

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Jammin’ Jamborees continued GoldStar Amusements – DeRidder, LA Thirteen-month-old Lillie Featherston was the cutest gal at the party! She’s the daughter of Mike, Jr. and Kristen.

GoldStar’s jamboree Show owner Mike Featherston with Al DeRusha.

The ladies’ costume contest!

The best ladies costume winner was Bianca Van Der Merwe, a South African guest worker.

Julian Minnaar as Popeye and Claudia Rhoore as Olive Oil!

It was cartoon time at the Jamboree! The Featherston family wore great costumes. Every CDL driver on the show was given a truck driver utility bag. Pictured is John Klukas, Jr. with his gift.

Yup, that’s Melissa Erasmus!

Mike Featherston pictured with some of his key guys.


Deline Vorster helped with the live auction.

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Belle City Amusements – Gainesville, FL

Jeff Blanton, the master chef, sporting his OABA hat and apron, pictured with Al DeRusha. The three tip board sellers, John Reed, Michael Lush and Gregg Reed.

Jerry Sears, “Captain Hook,” with Tabitha Sears, “Tinker Bell.”

The Eisinger family’s cute costumes; mom Amber holding Kyleigh “little sheep,” dad Billy holding Sadie “Little Bo Peep.”

First place winner in the Great Pumpkin contest was Tim Morrison with his carnival ride pumpkin. First place costume winner Rosie Herrera. She is one of many Mexican guest workers on the show.

Sherri and Charles Panacek, Mr. and Mrs. Lucky 13, Ace of Spades!

Jessie Adams as Elvis, “The King.” He looked more like Elvis than the real Elvis!

Charles Panacek and Lori Rice, second place costume winner.

The live auction crew, from left, Zack Panacek, Jimmy Dillman, Tabitha Sears and Jessie Adams.

Brittney Morrison’s second place pumpkin contest winning entry was “sick pumpkin” being taken care of by a doctor and nurse. DECEMBER 2017 | OABA ShowTime Magazine H

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Jammin’ Jamborees continued Powers Great American Midways – Goldsboro, NC Pam McDonald, David Handley and Cat Lehmann ran the bar. Pam has been with the show for 23 years!

The live auction crew, from left, Marc Janas, Debbie and Corky Powers.

Phil Corl and Brian Cotham ran the Wheel of Chance. Stephanie Corl and her son, Charley, ran the silent auction.

These pretty senoritas work for Marc and Tiffany Janas’ food concession.

Joe Zutter and Amanda Fermo helped with the live auction.

Thanks to Tiffany and Marc Janas for all their help!

Steve Ianni with his auction bid, Cool Man!

Powers’ Jamboree The whole family gathered to congratulate Suzi and Phil Corl, who are expecting the birth of twin boys! Suzie and Phil are fifth and sixth from left.

Christine Snowman and Will Reiske were all decked out for the party!


Alan Wheelock was the highest bidder for the OABA blanket donated by Debbie Powers.

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West Coast Amusements – Victoria, BC, Canada

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Photo Gallery


OABA Visits South Carolina State Fair

Attending Gary Goodman’s retirement party hosted by North American Midway Entertainment were John Sykes, East Texas State Fair; Jeff Blomsness, CoChair N.A.M.E. and Beth Negus.

Mother/ daughter team Kristina Rieder and Patti Blomsness.

Nancy Smith, SCSF incoming general manager, pictured with Jeff Blomsness and Gary Goodman.

Vicki Pacifico, Bea Negus and Mark Byck, SCSF fair board member at the Goodman retirement party.

Janice Lane working in the floss trailer.

Gary Goodman, retiring fair manager, and his wife Brenda, pictured with Jeff Blomsness (far left) and Danny Huston (far right). Seen at retirement party were John Sykes, Bunnie Lombard, Ronnie, Anne, Butch and Kim Netterfield, and Blake Huston, N.A.M.E.


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“OABA continues to advocate on my behalf for seasonal guest workers with the H-2B Visa program. OABA WORKS FOR ME.”

Mike Featherston GoldStar Amusements


to work for you!

Join today at

For more information on member benefits or questions contact the OABA at: or 800-517-6222.

Don’t delay. Support your industry today!

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Contribution Fund PROGRAM

2017 OABA Contribution Fund Program Participants

BRONZE • Get Your Contribution Fund Tickets Now • This is deductible as a business expense

OABA Contribution Fund Program

THE OABA’S CONTRIBUTION FUND offers three different plans to meet your show’s contribution to the OABA and in turn rewards the show and concessionaires for these donations.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE? You will be given the opportunity to receive cash prizes for your contributions to this program and help the OABA protect the carnival industry.

WHAT IS IT? Fund-raising for the OABA has always been based on the generosity of its members and depends on members to pay their fair share, the theory being that the organization belongs to the members who raise relevant issues and in the belief that they will also underwrite activities. Support and participation of enough members will provide the revenue necessary to continue and improve on membership services.

HOW IS IT HANDLED? This OABA program advises member carnivals to collect funds from all office-owned and independent concessions and rides, side shows and arcades. When the show owner collects the money, they need to give or complete a receipt. The show or concessionaires then send the receipts to the OABA office, which will be eligible for monthly and annual incentive prizes. Please note that it is important to include your phone number on your receipt, as we want to be able to contact you when you win!

WHAT IS THE MONEY USED FOR? The funds collected for this program are earmarked for legal, legislative and lobbying issues. Also, funds are used to continually upgrade member services. CAN’T I JUST CONTRIBUTE? Sure, but then you lose out on the opportunity to participate in winning cash incentives.

SEND IT ALL IN! Funds are solicited and contributed in the name of the OABA. Once money is collected, please send it monthly to the OABA office in form of a check or money order. You may check ShowTime magazine where the contributions and monthly winners in each plan will be published monthly. H

Bronze Plan

Contribution from Concessions & Rides $5.00 per event

Monthly drawings April-October First Prize $300 Second Prize $200 Third Prize $100

Final drawing in February First Prize $3,000 Second Prize $2,000 Third Prize $1,000

Silver Plan

Contribution from Concessions & Rides $10.00 per week

Monthly drawings April-October First Prize $400 Second Prize $300 Third Prize $200

Final drawing in February First Prize $4,000 Second Prize $2,000 Third Prize $1,000

Bronze and Silver Plans: If the carnival contributions exceed $5,000, OABA dues are waived for carnival.

Gold Plan

Contribution from Concessions & Rides $5.00 per day

Monthly drawings April-October First Prize $500 Second Prize $400 Third Prize $300

Final drawing in February First Prize $5,000 Second Prize $2,000 Third Prize $1,000

Gold Plan: If the carnival contributions exceed $10,000, OABA dues are waived for carnival.


Doolan Amusement Co. Tina & John Doolan Frazier Shows 3 G’s Adam Schrum AJ Schrum Allie Carpenter Andrea Broetsky Ashley Broetsky Ash’s Lemonade Betsi Schrum Billy Carpenter Blazen Entertainment Broetsky Equipment Broetsky Foods Broetsky SW Bryan Broetsky Cash Broetsky Dylan Tobias Elizabeth Landon

Emma Tobias Frazier Shows Garfield Miller Garry Miller George Tobias Ginny Miller Jan Broetsky Jan Cavanaugh Jaxon Scales Jessica Johnson Julie Broetsky Lauren Lauther Piper Broetsky Schrum Entertainment Stephen P Broetsky Stephen T Broetsky Steve Broetsky Sugar Mana’s Tobias Sky Tristan Scales William Carpenter

2017 OABA Contribution Fund Ray Cammack Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71,740 Reithoffer Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,330 Powers Great American Midways . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,830 Frazier Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,215 NAME/Astro Amusement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,240 Luehrs’ Ideal Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,120 Rainbow Valley Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,640 Skerbeck Entertainment Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,200 Deggeller Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,180 NAME/Mid America Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,100 A Fantasy Amusement Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,600 Rosedale Attractions & Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,895 Carousel Family Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620 Doolan Amusement Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 SwikaS Amusements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 TOTAL $148,210

October Drawing Winners BRONZE


Jessica Johnson Pam McDonald Frazier Shows Powers Great $300 American Midways $400 Tim Koleff Skerbeck Entertainment Rick Reithoffer Group Reithoffer Shows $200 $300 Michelle Farrow Bobo Concessions Rosedale Attractions & Deggeller Shows Attractions $100 $200


Bryan Creason Ray Cammack Shows $500 Jacqueline Bradbury Ray Cammack Shows $400 Kirsten Ousey Ray Cammack Shows $300

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NAME/All Star Amusements Carl Vance Dawn Snoddy Dennis Voss Greg Wilde JPB, Inc. Kristina Rieder Pat Blomsness Potopas Rainbow Valley Rides, Inc Teri Kedrowicz Rosedale Attractions & Shows Barbara Gaylin Jason & Joe Gaylin John Smith Michelle Farrow Ray Farrow Sue Shreve Tom Gaylin Wayne Hinson Skerbeck Entertainment Group Cindy Koleff Tim Koleff SwikaS Amusements J & C Enterprises Jimmy Snyder Larry Koza Paula Swika Stephen Swika III


A Fantasy Amusement Co. Alan McKinney Andrew Broomfield Bill Johnson Bob Thorson Charlotte Gudenkauf J. George Jeff Mckinney

Jim Gudenkauf Judy & Richard George Katie de Swardt Kelly Bayman Mary Johnson Mike Ramano Rich McMillen Steven Jones Tony Jones Carousel FEC Angelo Cappetta Patricia Thomas Deggeller Attractions Alex Brand Barrett’s East Coast Foods Bobo Concessions Brandon Concessions Bungee Blast Cathy Deggeller Chris Robbeloth Dale & Sharon Negus DEA Games Deggeller Foods, Inc. Deggler Attractions Dennis Rowland Dexter Oscar Giffin’s Enterprise Global Glow Toys Happy Swing Heidi Jamie & Andy Deggeller Jay Russell Kat’s Quarters Cody Syler+B7:B34 Macneill Bull Old Tyme Photos Parks-Speedpitch Pete Katz Porky’s Pugh & Sons Concessions R&A Concessions Rob Myers & Alieta Hopp Robbeloth Concession Robby Myers

T&T Concessions Luehrs’ Ideal Rides Andrew Schoendienst, Jr. Andy & Lorelei Schoendienst Chris & Kristin Atkins Luehrs’ Ideal Rides NAME/Mid America Shows Alvin Kennedy Anyway-U-Lykit Banks Huston Bechler Concessions Body Syler Cisco Amadon Diongue Cody Syler Cooper D. Huston Gary & Lori Crabtree Hardins Concessions Lucy Huston Michiana Facepainting Mid America Concessions Mike Huston Miles Huston MJSS Enterprises Nagel Concessions Pier Amusements Richard Huston Runyan Games Sylvia Wilson Toby Runyan Troy & Celicia Meadows Troy Meadows Powers Great American Midways Alan & Stefanie Wheelock Bob & Suzette McKnight Bobby Lyon Brandon Concessions Brian Cotham Corky & Debbie Powers Fairin Dando Flores Sales Fonzone

Ianni Concessions Jason Sales Jeff & Shelia Dean Jill Wells Marc & Tiffany Janas Mike Heaton Mystic Air Pam McDonald Phil & Suzie Corl Power Play Powers Learning Center Ruthie Evans TM Concessions Wheelock Reithoffer Shows Beau Pugh Billy Carpenter Bobby Pugh Jan Husted John Stoorza Kevin Lamkin Mario Rojas Michael Lauther Mike Bronchik Paul Smith Rick Reithoffer Robert Vinson Tony Albanese


Ray Cammack Shows A. Murray Alan Putter Andrew Schoendienst, Jr. Ashley Kastl Bill Morton Brian Bradbury Brooklynn Retherford Bryan Creason Burt Morton Cameron Kastl Carrie Morton Chris Lopez Deborah Morton

Diego Edwardo Palafox Dominic & Kim Palmieri Dylan Lopez Emily Bradbury Emily Machelor Eveline Howard-Morton Hailey Ousey Jacqueline Bradbury Jaden Leavitt Jayce Pacheco Joanne Leavitt Jody Lopez Jossue Ibarra Osequera Juan Carlos Mendoza Juvenal Palafox Garcia Kade Lopez Kate Ousey Kirsten Ousey Laura Howard Morton Lopez Concessions Mad Hatter Mario Garcia Tellez Marley Rae Houston Mary K. Ousey Michael John Ousey Michael Ousey Michele Leavitt Mike Ashcraft Mike Ousey Nancy Bishop Odyssey/OCF Pasyn Leavitt Riley Lopez Robot Ousey Roger Leavitt Savannah Bradley Shelby Wendland Tanner Lopez Taylum Leavitt Trevor Stonerock Walker Retherford Zane Bradbury

Puppy Roll Faribault, MN

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OABA–Duke Smith Memorial Education Fund 2018 SCHOL ARSHIP

Statement Of Purpose The Mobile Amusement Industry, Inc. (MAI), through its OABA–Duke Smith Memorial Education Fund, is interested in furthering the educational goals of young people within our industry. The youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and will require the education necessary to be competitive in an increasingly complex business environment. Individual and company contributions to the OABA– Duke Smith Memorial Education Fund and the annual generosity of Allied Specialty Insurance Company and Gold Medal Products provide opportunities to eligible applicants for financial assistance with advanced education.

Eligibility Requirements

H Each applicant must be a member in good standing of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.

H Each applicant must be a graduating high school senior or a continuing student at a university, junior college or trade



school or be employed in the mobile amusement industry. Each applicant must have plans of attending an accredited educational institution or trade school of their choice for their continued education.

Scholarship applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the OABA by December 31, 2017. Students who have applied for and/or received scholarships in the past are eligible to reapply by submitting updated transcripts and autobiography. (The deadline for fall transcripts is January 12.) If you are an OABA member, go to www., Member Area, Member Programs, Education and Industry Training Scholarships, OABA-Duke Smith Memorial Fund Scholarship, then click on Applications for forms. Or call the OABA office at 800.517.6222 for more information. IMPORTANT: Applications and/or

supporting documentation received after the deadline WILL NOT be submitted to the scholarship committee for consideration! H

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he recent Executive Order issued by President Trump directs the Departments of Labor, HHS and Treasury to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, Short Term limited duration policies and Health Reimbursement Accounts. The Executive Order is designed to increase competition and choice and allow health insurance plans that cover fewer benefits and consumer protections. PLEASE NOTE: Nothing is likely to happen immediately, since it will take at least six months to craft new regulations and guidance to carry out the Executive Order. HERE IS HOW THE EXECUTIVE ORDER WOULD WORK! Small businesses would be allowed to join together to buy health insurance coverage. Furthermore, small businesses and individuals would be able to collectively buy health insurance through association group plans. These plans will offer group coverage across state lines providing a broader range of policies at lower rates. By not being subject to the Affordable Care Act regulations, there will be plan options that have lower rates; however, provide less coverage.

Finally, the Executive Order will allow: 1. Short Term Health Insurance Plans to lengthen the coverage of these polices and permit renewals. 2. Expand Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to reimburse workers for a wide array of expenses including premiums. As the formal rule-making process consistent with the Executive Order is underway, we will keep you informed of the activity taking place. However, we will continue to remain focused on selling, enrolling and providing customer service to your members on individual and group health insurance plans. Email or call toll-free with any questions! H Ed Sterczek Mass Marketing Insurance Consultants 14616 John Humphrey Drive, Orland Park, IL 60462 Toll Free: 800-349-1039, Toll Free Fax: 877-349-0105

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DOT Regulatory News President To Nominate Nielsen As Secretary of Homeland Security In October, President Trump stated his intent to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen for the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. Ms. Nielsen is currently the White House principal deputy chief of staff. According to the White House press release, Ms. Nielsen has extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and emergency management. She is the first nominee for this

position to have previously worked within the Department of Homeland Security, having served there in two administrations — first as senior legislative policy director for Transportation and Security Administration under President George W. Bush, then as Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff under President Trump. Before joining the Trump Administration, Ms. Nielsen founded a risk and security management consulting firm. She previously served as Special Assistant to the President and senior director for prevention, preparedness,

and response on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush, in addition to serving as a corporate attorney and as a congressional staff member. No confirmation hearing in the Senate has been scheduled yet. H DOT Finalizing Plan For Opioid Testing Of Transportation Workers According to an article in The Hill, the U.S. Department of Transportation is finalizing a proposal to require opioid testing for certain transportation workers, including

commercial motor vehicle drivers. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a letter to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) last month that the proposed rule is “undergoing final review.” She also said the agency has ordered a study on substance abuse in the transportation sector. Currently, the Department of Transportation only administers a five-panel drug test, which includes marijuana, cocaine and PCP, for safetysensitive transportation workers. The tests do not include prescription painkillers or other opioids, however. H

Florida Week Hotel Reservations 2018 Special Reduced Rates To reserve hotel accommodations at the Sheraton Tampa East please visit the reservation website

Standard King or Double Bed Room ................................... $133.00 * Jr. Suites - Based on Availability Breakfast vouchers available for $13 per person, per day (including tax) for each guest in room. You will only be charged when voucher is redeemed. Vouchers provided at check-in. (Redeemable at Panfilo’s Restaurant) *For Junior Suite Upgrade, please contact Audrey Poole at 618-841-3466 or email prior to reserving your room. Limited availability. RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE NO LATER THAN JANUARY 5, 2018 to receive these special reduced rates. Credit card required to reserve room. 26

H OABA ShowTime Magazine | DECEMBER 2017

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Government Feature Title by Government Officlal Name Support Needed For ELD Rule Having lost at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in court, and in Congress, some owneroperator groups are still trying to delay or defeat implementation of the Electronic Logging Device mandate scheduled to go into effect on December 18, 2017. The latest efforts include highway demonstrations and a protest at the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C. last month. In addition, many owneroperator drivers are filing comments against the ELD rule in a regulatory review docket published by DOT. In the docket, DOT invites the

public to provide input on existing rules and other agency actions that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension or modification. NPTC members may offer comments in support of implementing the ELD rule as a safety and operational benefit to carriers and drivers. Comments may be filed electronically at in Docket No. DOT-OST-2017-0069. Or you may submit them to NPTC Counsel Rick Schweitzer at for inclusion in the docket. H DOT Requests Input On Regulatory Review The U.S. Department of

a public meeting to discuss and consider comments from members of the public. This is an opportunity for all NPTC members to offer input and suggestions to revise or withdraw regulations or procedures that do not provide any additional margin of safety and/or where the costs of the regulation or procedure outweigh their benefits. Comments may be filed electronically at in Docket No. DOT-OST-2017-0069. Or you may submit them to NPTC Counsel Rick Schweitzer at for inclusion in the docket. H

Transportation has issued a notice stating that it’s reviewing its existing regulations and other agency actions to evaluate their continued necessity, determine whether they are crafted effectively to solve current problems, and evaluate whether they potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. As part of these reviews, the Department invited the public to provide input on existing rules and other agency actions that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension or modification. The notice states the Department may also hold

Wing Industries Gull Wing Working with the Carnival Industry since 1989 Contact us at:

Pack-Man 175 kw or 250 kw Quiet Power Tractor or Trailer Mounted

GFlex 400 Amp

309 N.E. 1st Street P.O. Box 128 Alta, IA 51002 Toll Free: 800-838-1482 Fax: 712-200-1936

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InsideGovernment the BeltwayFeature Title by Government Name by John Ariale, Cloakroom AdvisorsOfficlal – OABA’s Government Relations Team

Tax Reform Consumes the DC Agenda


ashington, DC has been consumed by tax reform, tax reform, tax reform over the last 30 days. There is so much noise surrounding tax relief that it was hard for other high priority issues to get any attention in Congress. On October 26, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution that would change the tax code and increase the deficit by as much as $1.5 trillion over a decade could be passed with simple majorities in

that offers a permanent provision in law to reform and protect the H-2B program in a manner that expands the outdated and arbitrary caps that exist in law today. With increased support among Members of Congress, our teams in DC, combined with grassroots efforts back home, will have several unique opportunities to engage policy makers on these reform objectives. Working with key Members of Congress on committees of jurisdiction, along with our

both chambers. The FY 2018 budget resolution directs the tax-writing panels — House Ways and Means and Senate Finance — to produce reconciliation legislation by November 13, 2017 — just about two weeks after the body agreed to the budget and only 12 days after the first draft of the overhaul was introduced. Congressional Republicans are pushing for an ambitious revamp of the tax code, and the prospects for accomplishing it may be the best in decades. The tax code hasn’t been overhauled since 1986, following years of negotiation and bi-partisan compromise. Despite the focus on tax reform, we continued our push for comprehensive H-2B reform. Thanks to the continued hard efforts of stakeholders all around the country, our coalition of Congressional supporters continues to grow. For example, Senator Tillis’ legislation to reform the H-2B process, the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017 (S. 792), has garnered the support of twelve U.S. Senators. These men and women, led by the strong and constant support of the legislation’s sponsor, Senator Tillis (R-NC), represent a growing number of policymakers who understand the need for permanent reform to this program. On the House side, Congressman Steve Chabot’s proposal, the Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act, H.R. 2004 currently has attracted thirty-one co-sponsors. We recognize that any viable solution to the H-2B issue will require solid bi-partisan team work and we continue to find allies among key members of the minority party including the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security — Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) — and Congressmen Filemon Vela Jr. (D-TX) and Bill Keating (D-MA). These Members have been helpful in working with us to find possible legislative resolutions to criticisms surrounding the program and to broaden bi-partisan legislator support. Our goal remains securing the passage of legislation

champions and supporters, we will look at all immigration measures being considered by Congress with an eye toward identifying any and all paths forward on the Tillis and Chabot initiatives. These proposals represent many years of hard work by these supportive legislators and advocates like OABA members from all over the nation to ensure that American small businesses have access to temporary, seasonal workers they need to sustain their businesses and support American jobs. Although we had to endure the political noise created by the beating of the tax reform drums, we successfully conveyed the fact that the H-2B program requires improvement — and making it more efficient — would not only serve the outdoor amusement industry, it will serve the country’s economic interests. H John Ariale is a Principal at Cloakroom Advisors where he works with Gregg Hartley and William Fox as part of OABA’s Government Relations Team in Washington, DC. Cloakroom represents OABA before Congress and the Administration.

Gull Wing Industries Working with the Carnival Industry since 1989 Contact us at:

Pack-Man 175 kw or 250 kw Quiet Power Tractor or Trailer Mounted

GFlex 400 Amp

309 N.E. 1st Street P.O. Box 128 Alta, IA 51002 Toll Free: 800-838-1482 Fax: 712-200-1936

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From The Center Ring Connecting & Protecting the Circus Industry! Rodney Huey, RAH PR Strategies OABA Circus Media Consultant


hrow the yule log on the fire, grab a cup of egg nog and gather the family for the best time of the year. Then pack ‘em all up in your car and head out to a circus holiday treat! The Big Apple Circus enters the second full month of its comeback bid at the Lincoln Center in New York City (NY). Since its smashing Gala opening in late October when young Brazilian trapeze flying ace Ammed Tuniziani nailed the quad and the fearless Wallendas flawlessly executed a seven-person pyramid on the high wire, BAC has been receiving rave reviews from media and circusgoers alike. Adam Cohen of dubbed the show as a “colorful, fun, funny, thrilling performance” with “astounding acts that captivate.” BAC plays NYC through January 7 and then it’s on to Atlanta. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, produced by showman Neil Goldberg, plays in the Grand Ole Opry House in Opryland in Nashville (TN) through December 27, while other touring units will present performances in 23 cities throughout the month as far ranging as Detroit (MI), Akron (OH) and St. Petersburg (FL) to Seattle (WA), Fresno (CA) and Joliette (IL). For a full schedule, see Cirque Musica Holiday presents BELIEVE opens the first five days of December in Elkhart (IN), Rosemont (IL), Cedar Rapids (IA), Milwaukee (WI) and Independence (MO) respectively. Then the show appears in a dozen additional cities through December 27, including Long Island (NY), Nashville (TN) and Tampa (FL). For a full schedule see

Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner & Show, directed by Lone Star Circus Founder Fanny Kerwich, appears in the Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center in Galveston (TX) December 15–25. The holiday fete will be emceed by former Ringling ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and complemented with a special Holiday Buffet Dinner prepared by Executive Chef Felipe Gonzalez. UniverSoul opens the month in Columbus (OH) at the Eastland Mall, then heads south to Memphis (TN) for a fourday holiday gig December 6–10. The Zoppe Family Circus, starring Nino the Clown, is in Chicago (IL) December 1–2 and Chandler (AZ) December 27–January 7. Circo Hermanos Vazquez plays CitiField in Flushing (NY) December 2–17. The Sailor (Youth) Circus presents The High Flying Holidays in Sarasota (FL) December 27–30. If you can’t catch a live circus performance, then check out Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman movie opening everywhere on December 20. Three new circus books hit the market this season. The Wondrous Wandering Acrobats Show focuses on circus advertising aimed at the young reader. Author Anders Rosenburg uses “circus posters and photos to teach the new generation of youth more about the circus that will never be seen again.” The book is self-published, and can be ordered at for $14.99 plus $3 shipping. You can save 20% by entering the code WHITETOPS at checkout. Finnagan the Circus Cat is “a heartwarming story about friendship, loyalty and the circus” as told through the eyes of a lovable cat. Author Mary T. Wagner understands

Help the OABA maintain the right of Circuses and USDA licensed animal exhibitors to provide Americans with educational performances of exotic animals. Contribute a minimum of $25 to the OABA Circus Fund to receive your NEW 2016-2017 Elephant Pin Your contribution will be listed in the next issue of ShowTime magazine. Donations of $50 or more will be listed in ALL issues of the campaign year. Make your check payable to: OABA Circus Fund and send it to: OABA, 1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Suite 1045A, Winter Park, FL 32792

“Luke” is a male Asian Elephant, age 24, owned by Two Tails Ranch, Williston, FL


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the circus from the inside. She is the mother of aerialist Sarah Muehlbauer, an aerial instructor at Madison Circus Space in Wisconsin. Finnagan can be purchased at Big Top Typewriter by circus critic David Lewis Hammarstrom is more or less a “biography about his connection with the circus and Broadway shows.” Big Top Typewriter is available on However, if you want to give a truly one-of-a-kind circus gift, the family of longtime circus fan and model builder Irv Mohler of Potomac (MD) is selling his hand-crafted miniature circus. Mohler died in late August. His ¼-inch-to-the-foot scale model, which measures 20’ x 25’, contains a dozen tents, 70 wagons, an eight-horse hitch, 200 animals and “hundreds of handmade miniature people, including clowns, aerialists, acrobats and animal trainers.” If interested, contact his daughter Beth Kraenbring at 240-380-9648. After its 401st and final performance of the 2017 season in November, Kelly Miller Circus owner John Ringling North II announced he is “stepping down” and “going off to a new adventure” after 11 years at the helm of the Hugo (OK)-based show. Ringling is the son of former owner Henry Ringling North. No future ownership plans have been announced, but a spokesperson hoped the circus “could be back for their 2018 season as early as March.” The Mini Mobile Circus for Children of Kabul, Afghanistan is giving the children of that wartorn country a gift that lasts a lifetime — polio vaccinations. As part of its ongoing social circus programs and in partnership with UNICEF, the MMCC is introducing Afghan children to polio vaccinations through their performances, making the vaccinators’ job “as easy and productive as possible.” More than 200 graduates of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, including at least one student from each of the 30 years of Clown College, gathered in Orlando (FL) recently for a 50-year reunion organized by professional clowns Gina and Chris Allison. As part of the fun-filled activities, 50 Years of Funny: A Gala Show, featuring more than a dozen graduates, was presented at Orlando’s Rosen Jewish Community Center.

2017 Circus Fund

The Big “E”/NAME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,050 Eastern States Exposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 Kathleen Nelson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 Forepaugh-Lubin Tent No. 2, CFA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 National Showmens Association, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250 Paul Gutheil – in fond memory of Johnny Welde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Felix Adler-Paul Binder Tent No. 12, CFA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Paul Gutheil – in fond memory of Dick Kohlreiser “America’s Favorite Dogcatcher” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Bill & Chris Schreiber – in memory of Johnny Welde, bear trainer, circus man & friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Kenneth Fake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Robert K. Momyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 James Rittle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Daniel & Ellen Sherry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 TOTAL $8,350

To contribute to the Circus Fund, make your check payable and send to: OABA Circus Fund, 1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Ste. 1045A, Winter Park, FL 32792 It is important that we maintain this fund so we are able to hire professionals to assist with challenges such as legislation that threaten our members’ businesses. Please consider and make your contributions to this very important resource pool. Feel free to be creative such as matching dollars, innovative fundraisers, endowments and memorials, to name a few. Another option is to designate a percentage or daily amount of your ride operation to be set aside for this important fund.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey may have closed, but its spirit lives on in Las Vegas (NV) where many former RB&BB performers live. On the first Sunday of each month, a group of former performers, managers, staff and crew gather for a monthly lunch to swap stories, re-live memories and stay in touch. Among the “keepers of the Ringling flame” are former general managers Mike Melssen and Roman Garcia; dancer Bernice Collins; clowns Peggy King, Collen Linnehan Duffy, Darren Cooper, Ray LeClair, Joel Heidtman, Skeeter Reese and Huel Speight; and performers Jon and Laura Weiss, trapeze catcher Juan Vazquez and original King Charles Trouper Floyd “Sweets” Harrison. Finally, the Grinch Award goes to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who signed legislation “that bans the use of elephants in circuses and other entertainment acts, including parades” throughout the state effective in 2019. Bah, Humbug! H DECEMBER 2017 | OABA ShowTime Magazine H

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H OABA ShowTime Magazine | DECEMBER 2017

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Carnival Kid Utilizes Technology to Change the Industry G rowing up on a carnival has its perks.

Chris Leavitt used to run around the fair after hours with his cousins, riding rides, playing games and getting into mischief. “Good memories,” Leavitt said. “It was like growing up at Disneyland.” It wasn’t all just fun and games though. Leavitt learned the value of hard work in his family’s business, Ray Cammack Shows. He had his own hot dog cart at age eight and a shaved ice stand at 15. He worked his way up to vice president with RCS and when his children were born, he left the company to be able to be home with his young family. He also saw an opportunity. In Leavitt’s 30 years in the carnival business, he learned the ins and outs of event management and saw the struggles the industry faced. It’s a business based on cash, he said, and theft is a major issue as is accurate reporting on everything from inventory to employee schedules. Making sure the event-goer has a positive experience and stays for a good amount of time is also important to event management. Leavitt wondered how technology might address all of those concerns and improve the business. He started Ecash Systems, a reloadable card system that can be used for ride passes, games and concessions,

admission, pre-sale tickets, and even parking. The system also offers real time transactions and gives operators superior tracking and reporting. Leavitt said the system can be customized to work for any fair or festival. Customers load money to an RFID card at kiosks located around the event, which Leavitt says is eliminating the exchange of actual cash and helping event operators reduce theft. Leavitt said his clients are seeing a 10-25 percent increase in profits using his system. “I’m taking the knowledge I learned in the carnival and adding technology to make it work for any event operator,” Leavitt said. Fair operators can also see reports for employees, ride inspections and inventory with the system, making Ecash Systems an all-in-one answer to many event concerns.

“The industry really needs this,” he said, explaining that the carnival industry is several years behind other industries in terms of technology. Leavitt, a third generation fair operator, said he understands the needs of an event and can make the technology work for any event, even the ones that move frequently. Mick Brajevich, CEO and President of Butler Amusements, Inc., said the system is fantastic. “Chris and his team designed and built a totally wireless, stateof-the-art cashless/ticketless system that’s so easy to use and maintain that you don’t need to hire any IT professionals,” he said. An unexpected benefit of Ecash Systems is the information coming out of the tracking feature. Leavitt said they’re seeing real data such as which rides, games and stands are getting the most traffic and the amount of time people spend at the event, how much they spend and where. “That data is priceless,” he said.

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Outdoor Amusement Business Assn. 1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Suite 1045A Winter Park, FL 32792

Quality... By definition is measurement against others to a degree of excellence. Value... The regard something is held to; importance, worth, or usefulness. “ For nearly 50 Years of Striving to be the Best, Hitch-Hiker Mfg. Continues to set the Benchmark for Quality and Value. ” Jeff Swartz Hitch-Hiker Mfg.


Featured 26’ unit built for: Mick and Kris Brajevich - Butler Amusements

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