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Beloved "Uncle Willie" Wiggins Passes Away; Leaves Imprint on Many

Beloved "Uncle Willie" Wiggins Passes Away; Leaves Imprint on Many

Tom Thebault reflects on the passing of a life-long employee and friend

Longtime Astro Amusement Company unit manager and concessionaire Willie Wiggins passed way March 25, 2019, at the age of 70. Funeral services were held March 30 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Elgin.Born in Georgia on Nov. 5, 1948, Wiggins lived in the Chicago area for most of his life, ending up in Elgin during his later years. He came from a family of six siblings, and he was married to the late Karen Wiggins for 25 years.Wiggins got his start in the amusement industry as a teenager when he began working for Arthur Lampkin, building and moving bumper cars. He had met Dennis Konkey around Atlanta in 1970, and decided to join a show, Graffen Amusements, with Dennis. The company was later purchased by Steve Thebault in 1973, and renamed Astro Amusement Company. Wiggins decided to stay on when the company was ...   [read more]

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ESports Could be the Next Big Thing for Fairs

ESports Could be the Next Big Thing for Fairs

Video game competitions have been popular since the 1980s – the film “The Wizard” comes to mind – and may be the next big thing at fairs and carnivals in the very near future. Indiana-based MiLBooM Esports is hoping to pave the way for the merger to happen. Owned and managed by Vernon Patrick Chmielewski, the company launched in 2017. According to its website, the business enables fans, brands, events and venues to live in the same space that millennials do, connecting everyone through Esports. MiLBooM Esports develops Esports experiences and partners with shows, conventions, festivals, concerts and tours to help strengthen brand and attendee relationships. One example of how this is done is through live gaming opportunities which can be streamed for gamers, fans and sponsors, allowing them to participate in ...   [read more]

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Carnival Routes

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  • Butler Amusements
    Lodi Grape Festival & Harvest Fair
    9/12/209 to 9/15/2019 - Lodi, CA
  • Heart of America Shows
    Seward County Five State Fair
    8/23/2017 to 8/27/2019 - Liberal, KS
  • Ray Cammack Shows
    Pima County Fair
    4/18/2019 to 4/29/2019 - Tucson, AZ
  • Talley Amusements Inc
    Hunt County Fair
    4/19/2019 to 4/28/2019 - Greenville, TX
  • Butler Amusements
    Santa Barbara Fair & Expo
    4/24/2019 to 4/28/2019 - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Mighty Thomas Carnival
    Wharton County Youth Fair & Exposition
    4/25/2019 to 5/4/2019 - Wharton, TX
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Carnival & Fair Industry Buzz

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On March 29, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced the release of an additional 30,000 H-2B Visas as given discretionary authority by congress in the 2019 appropriations bill.  To qualify, a H-2B worker must have possessed a H-2B visa one of the last three years (2016-2018), limiting eligibility to only returning workers.  The release of 30,000 additional visas was an increase of 15,000 visas as compared to what was released in 2018.Three weeks later, DHS has yet to make a formal announcement regarding the filing rule that contains the procedures, processing timelines, and an estimate start date for workers.  In previous years, the announcement came within a week of the initial announcement regarding the release.Last week, an industry letter was delivered to senior White House officials asking the Trump Administration to publish the rule.  The Seasonal Employment Alliance is hoping that the letter spurs them into action.The Seasonal Employment ...   [read more]

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The North Carolina State Fair announced Wednesday that it will feature the Midway Sky Eye, one of the tallest traveling observation wheels in the USA, at the 2019 fair.  In a release, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said  “It will definitely be something fairgoers aren’t going to want to miss.  The wheel is a great addition to all you can see and do at the fair, and I can’t wait to see the view from the top.”The Midway Sky Eye is a 46M traveling giant wheel owned by Biggest Wheel, LLC., a partnership between Michael Wood and Frank Zaitshik.  The Wheel was built by Lamberink of the Netherlands and made its US debut at the 2016 Florida State Fair in Tampa.  Annually, the wheel travels to a variety of large scale events including the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Florida State Fairs.  This year, it made a first time appearance at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando.Wheel Naming ContestTraditionally, ...   [read more]

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2018 Top 50 Carnivals & Fairs

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  1. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo - Houston, TX
  2. Texas State Fair - Dallas, TX
  3. Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN
  4. San Antonio Livestock Show & Ex. - San Antonio, TX
  5. San Diego County Fair - Del Mar, CA
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G&S Shows, a California Carnival company, is now hiring ride and food help for its California based route.  Good starting salary and a private bunk room is included!  Call Dave or Joe at 714-893-1336BATTECH is an amusement ride manufacturer, producing popular rides such as the Cliff Hanger, Zero Gravity, Downdraft, and Super Slide.  Visit for more info.
Browns Amusements is now hiring ride help, game help, food help, electrician, and CDL drivers for the 2019 season.  Call Danny at (602) 763-1617 for more info or visit Around Amusements is now hiring ride, game, food, help for the 2019 season.  Call 815-725-2323 for more info or visit
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