THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

CIRCUS NOW OPEN!

2014 Convention

SAVE THE DATES

SAVE THE DATES

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Austin at Work: John Hanschen runs The Mighty Thomas Carnival


John Hanschen got into the carnival business in 1976. He owns the Mighty Thomas Carnival that spends winters in Cedar Creek.

By Ricardo Gándara AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

from: The Austin American-Statesman

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

CEDAR CREEK,TEXAS — John Hanschen, owner of the Mighty Thomas Carnival, is hunkered down for the winter. In a warm office trailer, he's pondering early February, when he will hit the road again. Laredo's Presidents Day celebration will be his first stop. In all, he'll visit 40 cities in 10 states, setting up his carnival to the delight of families looking to get on the Super Shot free-fall ride or perhaps eat a corn dog that just seems to taste better because it's cooked at the midway.
"I miss the lights, the noise, the smells of the midway," he said.
But for now, on several acres on Texas 21, his 40 carnival rides are secured to the beds of tractor trailers. This doesn't mean he stops working. On the contrary, the three-month lull until carnival season gears up again is a strategic time. He's already attended the Rocky Mountain Association for Fairs in Billings, Mont.; safety training in Orlando, Fla.; and the North and South Dakota Association of Fairs convention in Rapid City, S.D.
"We go for training and see new rides and equipment and meet with clients. These shows are about maintaining relationships and sitting down with customers to talk about things we can do better," said Hanschen, who is in his 36th year in the carnival business.
The Mighty Thomas Carnival is a family affair. Hanschen, 60, is co-owner and full-time operator. Son Mike, 26, who has a business degree from Southwestern University, is a truck driver and handles a lot of the administrative work, such as payroll. Daughter Katherine and son-in-law Brandon Petree run the food operation of the carnival.
Hanschen is thinking about next year and how he can improve the business. "There is artistry in the operation of a carnival. You take a beautifully lit ride with thousands of lights, and you have to position it just right. There is nothing better than sitting in my office and looking out to the midway and seeing families smiling," he said.
The thrill rides that cost between $200,000 to $700,000 are only part of it. It is hard work to load, transport and unload machinery that can weigh several hundred tons. At any event, his caravan of big trucks hauling rides and travel trailers that provide housing for workers arrives a day or two in advance.
"It takes us a day to set up," said Hanschen.
The carnival is self-contained. One big truck carries the generators that provide power to operate the carnival. His annual budget for fuel — trucks and generators — is more than $400,000. read more at:http://www.statesman.com/life/austin-at-work-john-hanschen-runs-the-mighty-2036749.html

No comments:

Post a Comment


TO VISIT OUR PAST POSTS--SCROLL DOWN THE SIDE BAR. ALSO LINKS ARE FURTHER DOWN