How about that OABA president; Bob Johnson, and his remarks about sideshows in the article on Tim Deremers Gorilla Girl Attraction?

 

I believe his quote was; They have "Gone by the Wayside". I guess that indicates how out of touch the Outdoor Amusement Business Association really is, and why they have lost so many members. When I joined the organization in 1976, the annual publication (OABA REVUE) listed 132 members who were associated with the sideshow or backend business. There were 188 carnival companies listed in the membership roster as well. Today on their website they list 46 carnivals and no sideshows as members.

 

Last October CARNIVAL magazine had a great article on Jim Zajicek's Big Circus Sideshow and how well it was being received both by the public and carnival operators.

The sideshows are popular attractions on midways once again, was the message it expressed. I had high hopes that this information would help usher in a better acceptance of backend shows among those who book this unique form of entertainment. We know the
public wants to see what we have, but with the mind set of people like Bob Johnson, who wheels a lot of influence in the industry, we have quite a way to go.

 

Our only pathway to success as I see it, is to continue to present first class, well flashed, clean and bright backend attractions which bring no heat and are an asset to anymidway. When carnival operators find that their patrons enjoy sideshows, that fair boards are happy to have shows, and they can make money by booking us, we will once again become a staple on the midway.

 

That day is coming!  Jeff Murray

 


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