By Rachel Andrews Damon
Special to The Conway Daily Sun
FRYEBURG, Maine — Fryeburg Fair is pleased to announce a new partnership with Dreamland Amusements of Long Island, N.Y., for providing midway rides and for booking and organizing midway carnival concessionaires.
Dreamland Amusements is owned by Bob and Kathy DeStefano, longtime professionals in the carnival and amusement business. They own over 50 rides. They serve large county fairs, state fairs, corporate and private events on the East Coast.
Dreamland Amusements recently added three new large-scale events to their 2022 schedule, including Fryeburg Fair.
“We are very honored that after a long interview process, Fryeburg Fair has chosen us to be their midway provider,” BoB DeStefano said.
Dreamland Amusements will bring about 32 rides to Fryeburg Fair 2022: the Super Himalaya, the Dreamcatcher, the Zipper and Starship, to name a few. There will be a Wacky Worm roller coaster that is 93 feet long in Kiddie Land, as well as a Dumbo ride with 10 super-large elephants.
“These are family rides basically for two adults and two kids, kids being 9 years-old and under,” Bob said.
“We also provide light towers, baby changing stations, more seating. We think people will really enjoy everything we bring,” he added.
Dreamland Amusements is an online ticket provider, allowing consumers to purchase wristbands and packages much more easily.
David Andrews, Fryeburg Fair’s general superintendent, said:“We’re excited about this change. It will mean bigger and better offerings for our fairgoers. Dreamland has rides that haven’t been seen in Maine before. They will encompass the same footprint and space as Smokey’s did at Fryeburg Fair. I think it’s a great move.”
Fryeburg Fair will be Dreamland Amusements’ first time serving a fair in the state of Maine. While they own all their rides, they do not own food and concessions, but they book them all as part of their shows.
Current concessionaires at Fryeburg Fair will be booking through Dreamland Amusements going forward and can reach the Dreamland office through their website dreamlandamusements.com.
Bob DeStefano says his phone is always on. “We want all the regular Fryeburg Fair concessionaires as always.”
Thes DeStefanos go back several decades in carnival history. Bob started at 16 years old and Kathy at 14.
Her grandfather Bill Mince did all the lighting contracts for Coney Island. He then bought the company Feltman’s, which was a factory that built pneumatic BB machine gun games. Kathy’s father, Charlie Wagner, was working for him, then formed his own carnival on Long Island. When Wagner’s Carnival appeared in Levittown, Bob said he ran over looking for a job. He met Kathy, and they started going together. Seven years later they married.
Right before their wedding, Kathy’s parents decided to sell. Bob says they took all their wedding gift envelopes and went to Dallas and bought a Kiddie Land rollercoaster. They began Silver Dollar Shows in a partnership with others and ran it from 1984-2002.
When the partnership ended, Dreamland Amusements was formed. “Between Kathy and I — well, we’ve skyrocketed,” Bob said.
“We have over 50 rides now. Our show is excellent, and we keep it that way by staying on top of everything especially safety, esthetics and quality control. Our customers come for the rides and that is our total business focus.” Bob said.
“We have great employees (over 120), We believe in family, and truly family is first. Without that approach we can’t do this. Some of our employees, while not blood family, are just like family,” he said.
The DeStefanos have three daughters and five grandchildren, all under the age of 4. Two of their daughters work with Dreamland Amusements.
Reflecting back on the DeStefanos’ long history in carnivals and amusements, Bob says, “It’s been a great ride.”
David Hastings III, president of Fryeburg Fair, says, “Dreamland is going to bring a fresh look to Fryeburg. We encourage our long-term vendors to apply with Dreamland. We’re very enthusiastic about them and think we’ll have a great show.”