May 2, 2011

Carnival coming to town for good cause

The Freak is one of 24 rides featured in the Fiesta Shows
 carnivalcoming to Derry May 12-15.
By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- If you like pink-sugar-coated sticky fingers and the way white powder from fried dough collects in the corner of your children’s smiles, then you will be glad to know the carnival is coming to town.
From May 12-15, Fiesta Shows will be set up at the corner of Manchester Road and Ashleigh Drive, at the site of the recently demolished Dave Allen Lincoln Mercury. The event is a
 fundraiser for the Upper Village Hall, which will collect a percentage of proceeds as the event’s sponsor. 

For more than 75 years, Seabrook-based Fiesta Shows has been entertaining families throughout New England. This is the first time they will set up in Derry with their fleet of 24 amusement rides and enough batter to feed a hungry town all the fried dough it can stomach, said John Flynn. He and his business partner, Gene Dean, are the second-generation of carnival impresarios to run the show. 
“To the best of my knowledge we’ve not been in Derry, but it’s going to be a great show — we’re bringing a new ride, the Freak Out, and another brand new ride from Germany, called the Vertigo. It’s guaranteed to make you sick — in a good way,” said Flynn. 
He and Dean inherited the family business from their fathers, Jack Flynn and Eugene Dean, who got their start just over the Massachusetts border at Salisbury Beach in 1935 as Dean & Flynn. In the 1960s, the two showmen bought Fiesta Shows and shaped it into a fun, family-friendly attraction, Flynn said. 
“Obviously, we’ll have a variety of thrilling rides for adults and children, and food — all the really good stuff, like fried dough and cotton candy, plus games and, we hope, a petting zoo for the kids,” Flynn said. 
Dave McPherson of East Derry Village Improvement Society, who is involved with the restoration and promotion of the hall, said EDVIS trustees were looking for a solid fundraiser to boost the hall’s fix-up fund. 
“We were thinking of doing something with Fiesta Shows in conjunction with Derryfest, when we found out they were actually available earlier in the spring as well, so the plan at this point is to see how this works out and, if it’s a success, we’ll bring it back during Derryfest,” McPherson said. 
Boomer Wolf LLC, the company that is developing the former car dealership site, agreed to donate the use of the property to the group. 
Flynn said the carnival is wrapping up a five-day run at JFK Ice Arena in Manchester. 
“We do a variety of fundraisers, from churches to parks and rec departments — the Upper Village Hall is a great cause, and we’re happy to work with them,” Flynn said. “With all the growth in Derry over the past 12 years, we see it as a great spot in terms of marketing.” 
For more information on Fiesta Shows, go to www.fiestashows.com

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