WRAL.com at the State Fair

This Fall We're Going to A Powers Fair

Posted February 5, 2006 1:09 p.m. EST

Wow, what a mess! The last couple of weeks have been crazy. First the Department of Agriculture was going to reveal the midway operator for this year's fair. Then it was discovered that there was only one bid -- from Wade Shows -- for $3 a head, goofy-low when you consider a) they paid $5.915 per head for the 2005 fair and b) they did not exactly dazzle with their huge number of rides that weren't available on day 1, the FastPass program (which was rescinded because of the rides problem), etc.

The Department of Agriculture ultimately chose to reject the bid and approach the other companies that it had approved to bid. The contract was awarded to Powers Great American Midways, which is paying $5.50 a head, a little lower than last year. That contract is for one year, as opposed to the three-year contract the state was trying to get through the open bid.

Powers Great American Midways has a Web site at http://www.powersmidways.com/ -- it's actually a NC company, having winter quarters in Burgaw. This means one very important thing -- that they know what the ride rules are! This article from the News-Argus brings that home. One of the people quoted in the article referred to Powers this way: "I wish that all companies that came into the state were as professional, with well-trained employees and well-maintained equipment..."

Powers even has a documentary about its carnival -- Behind the Colored Lights. You can see a snippet about it, and more information, at http://www.mhstudios.com/BTCL/mainpages/aboutthefilm.htm.

As time passes and I get more news on plans for the Fair, I'll be sure to post it here. Stay tuned! Only eight months to the Fair!