A tub on an Octopus ride fell off, dropping 15 to 20 feet to the ground and injuring a 14 year old rider at the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department’s annual 4th of July Carnival in Buchanan, Virginia on Tuesday, June 30. The Octopus, belonging to Red Roach of Magic Midway, had just been inspected the prior week. The rider, Dustin Young, received a bump on the base of his skull and numerous bruises to his stomach and arms but was ok. Bud & Jeanette Gilmore of Smokey’s Greater Shows of Bangor, Maine have joined the carnival industry chorus saying, “if it will quit raining, we could make money.” The show carries 30 rides and in the spring, divides into two units. A High-Lite Rides, Inc. Swing Ride was added for 2009. The Gravitron, Zipper and Star Trooper were refurbished this past winter. The Thunderbolt, the Mulligan Giant Wheel and the Ali-Baba are the top grossing rides on the midway. The show owns most of the food stands and plays festivals and 12 county fairs. Pat Guthrie of Jules & Beck Combined Shows and Gold Medal Shows of Barnesville, GA told Carnival that Gold Medal is carrying 12 rides and is playing the greater Atlanta area. Jules & Beck, carrying 22 rides, is playing the Michigan area until mid August when they will pick up their county fair route in Kentucky and Tennessee. The company added the Watkins Heart Flip and Swinger for the 2009 season. The Roundup and Scrambler were refurbished in winter quarters. Pat reported that a lot of rain was experienced at the Greater Atlanta Fair. That midway was made up of 35 rides. The Galax Fire Dept. of Galax, Virginia is trying to find out why the carnival company from New Jersey, Tolve Amusements, did not show up for the Fire Dept’s annual 4th of July fundraiser event. Tolve Amusements had agreed to fill in after Jules & Beck Combined Shows of Georgia told Galax Fire Dept. officials in January that they would not be returning to Galax because of fuel costs. Fire Dept chief, David Hankley, is trying to find another company to fill in for what is the department’s biggest annual fundraiser. Previous providers of the midway have been R. C. Cole Shows, W. H. Harden Shows, Larry’s Amusements and James Drew Expositions. James Walker, 76, of Durham, NC, longtime concession owner died recently at his home. He, along with his wife, Rethe Walker, have operated a mug joint for the past 35 years, working the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida circuits. James had many friends in the carnival business and will be sorely missed. The September 11th – 20th Tennessee State Fair in Nashville will feature a “green initiative” that will use manure and other waste collected at the fair to make electricity to help run the midway. A company by the name of TSTO has manufactured a machine called the Mobile Bio Oil Processor (MBOP) that will turn manure, straw, hay and paper into bio diesel fuel. The midway provider, North American Midway Entertainment will use the fuel to help power their generators.