Aug 27, 2008

Midway Matters


I've been going to the fair for a long time. In the late 50's, my father operated a food stand there near the beer gardens. He then built Flaggs on Hamilton Blvd., today it is known as Ice Cream World. There was no water park back then, and Dorney Park was still family owned. In the early 60's, while still in high school, for a couple of years, a friend and myself operated a tee shirt stand at both the Allentown and Kutztown Fairs. Back then, the midway operator was Goodin's Million Dollar Midway. Then, as today, the sides of the fairground were rented out to individuals, while the large middle, in front of grandstand and farmers market, was rented to the carnival company. Over the years the carnival operator changed, from Goodin through a few others, to S & W. This year there is a new operator and a new walking pattern. For the first time, there is no midway along the grandstand. Fair goers are steered to a new first midway, 75 feet north of the grandstand, and then back down again, at the other end. We Dutchmen, being used as an affectionate term for all older locals, don't like it. We don't do well with change.

photocredit: molovinsky

6 comments:

consigliere said...

i loved Flagg's

gsbrace said...

I was there last night for a concert and to explore. I couldn't figure out what was different about the place. The configuration! (smacks forehead). The central meeting point now feels like the Ritz. Not a bad thing, but it isn't central.

Thanks for pointing that out. I did have a great time.

Anonymous said...

I was there on "free night" and was bothered by the narrowness and configuration of the new midways.

I was also there on Wednesday night and because there were fewer people, it wasn't quite as tight.

Still, I'd prefer they return to the wider Midways next year, and do something about all the wires and cables stretched across the Midways. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Best it's been since the 60's. As far as wires, perhaps those yellow wire protectors since not only people visable but equipment rolls over the insulated wires as well.

I have not problem with narrow and can understand from the game stands point of view forces people closer to their stand to make their pitch.

My main point is best it's been in years!

Anonymous said...

I think the new set-up was a good idea. It reminded me of the old days when there were more than just two midways. The new carnival company had many more seating areas and kept the fair more clean looking. I remember selling Evening Chronicle newspapers at the fair, what a good time it was. Just a correction to Michael's post though. The MILLION DOLLAR MIDWAY back in the 60's was called GOODING'S not GOODIN'S.

Anonymous said...

Dutchman ,huh! Michael I remember waiting with Al Wert(now that was a Dutch men) and my date at the corner of 27th & Gordon streets.
We were waiting for Al's date a nice Jewish girl whose parents wanted her to stay that way, so she was not to date Al.
At AL's rescue was the polar opposite of the " Shabbas Goy " a nice Jewish boy helping the cause and pretending to be the young lady's date.
And to this Day he still helps , a modern day golem. Does this ring a bell?