Carnival

The Mighty Thomas CarnivalOur traveling show, The Mighty Thomas Carnival, presents thrilling rides, fun games, and tasty carnival treats at Montana ExpoPark for the 26th straight year. Founded in 1928 in Lennox, South Dakota, by Art B. Thomas, the show now winters near Austin, Texas, and is providing its 91st season of summer fun and excitement for fair-goers at 51 events in 12 states. The 2019 tour began late January in Texas and has continued at fairs and festivals in:

  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Montana before arriving in Great Falls
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota

The season continues in Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, and Louisiana then returns home to the Texas winter quarters in mid-November.

The Beach Party

The Beach Party, a two-level walk-through, laugh-throughout, funhouse makes its first appearance at State Fair this year. Built by Owen Custom Trailers in California, the Beach Party features bright yellow and blue scenery, wacky obstacles, and a walk-through spinning barrel that evokes the roiling waters of an incoming tidal wave. Harken to cries of "surf's up!" and have your sunscreen ready! 

The Star Tower

The Star Tower is a gentle but thrilling 90-foot chair swing ride, with many hundreds of color-shifting LEDs combining to create mesmerizing, ever-changing light displays that tower above the fairground. This attraction accepts wristbands and regular carnival ride tickets. Star Tower is popular for selfies-everyone takes a photo with their riding partner. 

Black Out

And joining us in the extreme ride genre-the exhilarating Black Out. The Black Out made its continental U.S. debut last year, and is only for those with a sense of adventure! On this mega attraction, twelve passengers are secured into gondolas that rotate and flip as the central arm launches them up, up - and over! The ride swings up to a highpoint of 80 feet in the air and makes a complete circle as it swings back down in the other direction.

Facilities

Thomas Carnival facilities include:

  • Benches
  • Generators and wire
  • Laundry
  • Light towers
  • Repair shops
  • Rest and shade areas
  • Rides, games and food concessions seen by the public on the midway
  • Trucks and trailers
  • Uniform facilities, offices, and living quarters

One hundred fifty traveling workers are joined by locally hired employees and helpers to set up, operate, and then dismantle the show after State Fair ends on August 3.

Circle of Excellence

Thomas Carnival has been named to the OABA's prestigious Circle of Excellence. Carnival operations and procedures were audited by an outside evaluation team in August of 2017 and found to meet the rigorous standards for entry into the Circle.

Dozens of dedicated carnival workers make it possible to move and operate the show at over 50 locations each year. Ride operators work hard to load and operate amusement rides with care. Ticket sellers are trained to have general information about the fair, and they answer hundreds of questions every day. All Thomas Carnival midway workers participate in a pre-season and random drug screening program.

Location & Contact Information

The main carnival office is located on the midway and administrative staff is always available for questions and comments. Credit cards are accepted at our box offices, and ATMs are located on the midway. The carnival maintains a corner general store open to fair customers, stocked with a small variety of personal items they might have forgotten for their long day visiting the fair.

For further information, contact John Hanschen at 512-914-0395 or Andrew Hanschen at 512-297-0537, or visit Mighty Thomas Carnival on Facebook. Access Carnival Wristband Coupons.