|About Our Shows
|The carnival began when Richard "Dick" Coleman
bought a used, steam-driven merry-go-round in 1916
for $250. It was set up under the Portland Bridge and
he charged passers-by for rides. He was 27 at the time
and $250 was a whole lot of money for the clothing
store salesman who also dabbled as a promoter of
wrestling matches, basketball games, and boxing
exhibitions. Even then, Dick Coleman couldn't reign in
his adventuresome spirit and his penchant for
The legend goes that some of the guys who worked the
rides in the summer in those early days were also his
prize fighters. He was always promoting something.
With the contacts he made in different towns, he started
booking rides around the state.
Little by little, and with the help of Dick's brothers Tim
and Tom, more carnival rides were purchased,
concessions were added, and the family business
flourished. When Dick's children Bob and Francis were
old enough, they helped too, travelling with the
seasonal carnival during school summer vacations.
Now, Bob Sr. and his wife Rachel oversee the operation
with their son Tim, daughter Mary and her husband
Anthony, grandson Robert Coleman, and office
manager Grace Pollard.
Now with as many as 30 rides, as well as games and
other concessions, the carnival employs as many as 50
workers, depending upon the time of season. The
oldest ride, the Tilt-A-Whirl, is one of the original rides
purchased by Dick Coleman in the early days. With
new technology, carnival rides are not what they used to
be. They are flashier, run faster and smoother, and look
snazzier. The Colemans are always on the lookout for a
special new attraction. The rides are individually
scrutinized before the carnival is allowed to open,
inspected by the state police, the local fire marshal, and
a state engineer.
The Coleman family is very proud of their record.
"Maintenance and safety are among our top priorities."
(Excerpted from an article by Traci Neal in the Hometown Crier, Hometown News