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In The News: "Rochester Dates For Midway Rides Of Utica"


Rochester Dates For Midway Rides Of Utica
By Bill Pfeifer
Source: Carnival Magazine, October 2001

ROCHESTER, N.V. -- Midway Rides of Utica owner Dana Peck moved a unit west to Rochester to fulfill a series of dates that were previously played by Bill Wilson's Amusements of Hamburg. For the 2000 season, Wilson elected to play only a portion of his traditional New York route; and in 2001, the show disbanded.

Moving to the Rochester region Midway Rides of Utica not only picked up some of Wilson's dates, but also some dates previously played by Powers Great American Midways. Some of the spring Amusements of Hamburg events that Peck signed included May dates on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, and the Apple Blossom Festival in Williamson. In June the show did the Holley, New York, Firemen's Carnival and later in July a similar event in East Rochester. In addition, the show played a church festival in Irondequoit in early June and the Chil-E Festival in Chili, New York that were previously played by Powers. (The Chili date was also played by Amusements of Hamburg until 2000.) While Peck managed the unit in western  New York at the new dates, he had another unit working spots in eastern New York.


While on the RIT campus, Midway Rides of Utica made calculated use of the minimal space allotted, which could accommodate only seven rides. The highlight on the midway was the brand new Majestic Euro style 1800 Scooter, which had been delivered to the show only one week earlier. The ride is similar to the 1400 model that Majestic Manufacturing first exhibited at the Amusement Industry Expo in Cleveland in 2000.

Peck's new Scooter has a stainless steel mesh ceiling with quartz lights above it. This provides better lighting to the ride floor and also makes the top canvas show off its bright colors, even at night. The fences are painted except for a wider top rail which protects the painted areas from hitting together when racked. The ride also features 16 new bumper cars. Euro-style lighted posts surround the ride, and the number of the posts has been reduced to allow for better visibility. The top panels are angled like earlier Euro Scooters and the light colors, green, red, yellow and purple, offer a striking appearance at night. The ride's front features a bright yellow  Scooter sign.

Internal features of the Scooter include an automated safety announcement which plays every time the ride is started. A rectangular entrance platform provides ramps from two sides and an operator station.

The next stop in western New York for Midway Rides of Utica was the Apple Blossom Festival, an event that used eight of Peck's rides. Although the Scrambler was not set up because of size, a bounce and a Lil' Eli Wheel were added.

In the beginning of June at the Christ the King Church Festival in Irondequoit, New York, Midway Rides of Utica added several more rides including an inflatable slide, Escape from Alcatraz. There was an SBF Super Truck ride that had Convoy-type vehicles, bright lights and ran on a Rio Grande-style track. The scenery for the ride is mounted on the transport trailer. Although the ride looked brand new, Peck indicated that it was delivered to the show in July 2000. Other pieces on the midway included a Frederiksen Fun Slide, a Tilt-A-Whirl, and a trailer-mounted Scrambler. Also providing entertainment on the midway were Wild West Enterprise's I Got It game and Pit Row Racing, a remote control car race.

At the next date, the Holley, New York, Firemen's Carnival, the show had swapped its Winner's Circle, a car race theme bounce, for an Arctic themed piece. Also added to the midway were a Jet Ski ride which uses a mechanism that makes the tubs bounce up and down slightly as they go around, in a manner reminiscent of some of the Venture animal rides. Gary Platt's Arrow's I Got It game was on the midway and according to Peck was slated to remain with the show for additional dates during the 2001 season. The Pit Row Racing concession also was on the midway Peck had the family owned popcorn/ cotton candy concession set up at all of the spring dates.


Operating the Midway Rides of Utica's Hurricane was Brett Powers, an OABA Scholarship winner. Powers, who also created the Amusement Ride Showcase website, has been working summers for Peck while he pursues an engineering degree.

While in the Rochester area, in addition to the aforementioned pieces, Midway Rides of Utica also operated a Berry-Go Round, Star Trooper, Umbrella Cars, and Eli Hy-5 Rim Drive .


Midway Rides of Utica
P.O. Box 4277
Utica, NY 13504

Phone: 315.725.7433
Email: Midwayrides@yahoo.com

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