RALEIGH, NC — Strates Shows
has run the midway at the State Fair for the past 53 years. Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps was concerned that using one company for so long meant the state might not be getting the best deal, so she appointed a committee to look at every company in the carnival industry and see how to best best serve the state's fairgoers.
Eleven of the nation's top carnivals are making presentations to the commission this week and jockeying for the right to run the midway at the 2002 State Fair.
The bottom line is money. Last year, Strates paid the state $1.5 million, or 38 percent of the money it made from rides and games. Whoever runs the midway next year will have to turn over 40 percent, which is closer to the average most state fairs receive from carnival companies.
Frank Zaitshik owns Wade Shows Incorporated, which is based in Florida.
"For the first time in the 21 years I've owned the Wade Shows there was an opportunity for me to make a presentation here at the North Carolina State Fair, and we think that's a healthy thing," Zaitshik says. "We are pleased to be a part of that process."
Phipps says she hopes to decide by next week which company will be awarded the bid.