Fairboard to make smooth transition between ride companies

| February 10, 2017

COSHOCTON – The company running the rides at the Coshocton County Fair will be different after 2017, but the average visitor to the fair will not notice the change. One Bates ride company will just pick up where the other one left off.

Bates Amusements Inc., which is run by the Geary Bates family and provides rides for the Coshocton County Fair, recently announced that the 2017 season will be its last. However, the fairboard has already secured another branch of the family to run the rides in the future.

“The biggest and most positive option we had was to go with the Eric Bates family business Bates Brothers Amusement and that is what the fair board opted to do at its February board meeting,” said Jim McClure, who recently retired as secretary of the fairboard. “The players will be different, but the rides will still be maintained in the same excellent manner and the trucks will all be the same color. It will be a very seamless transfer.”

The Bates Family first got involved in providing entertainment at local events in their hometown of Wintersville when Geary and Eric Bates helped the Gambill Family with pony rings in the 1950s. After a portion of the Gambill farm was sold, the family bought a mechanical ride and formed Gambill Amusement Co. In 1965, the Bates bought their first ride, the Rock-O-Plane and then in 1975 the company Gambill and Bates Brothers Amusement Co. was formed. Eventually the named was changed to Bates Brothers Amusement Co. and according to http://batesamusement.com, “in 1993 the company was restructured and divided into two companies, Bates Amusement Inc. (Geary Bates) and Bates Brothers Amusement Co. (Eric Bates). While both companies are completely separate, they come together once per year, in September for the Canfield Fair over Labor Day weekend.”

The fairboard’s three year contract with Bates Brothers Amusement will start with the 2018 fair.

“A lot of what we’ve done to prepare for next year has been by design because of our relationships with the county fairs,” said Kim Bates Bozich, the corporate secretary for Bates Amusements Inc. “We wanted to insure the continued success of county fairs so we’ve been planning on our side for a while to make sure they were able to secure rides for 2018 and didn’t miss a beat and be stuck without rides. The Coshocton County Fairboard chose to move on with my cousins (from Bates Brothers Amusement) and I will help my cousins from the backend with what worked well in Coshocton to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. You take care of people that have taken care of you.”

McClure said over the years, the Coshocton County Fairboard has had an excellent working relationship with Bates Amusements Inc. and the Geary Bates family.

“They are a fine, fine family,” McClure said.

Bates Bozich said her family has enjoyed its time in Coshocton.

“I’ve been coming to the Coshocton fair since I was 17 or 18 and I’m in my mid 50s now,” she said. “Generations of our family and people of Coshocton have grown together. I know generations of fair directors, their children and grandchildren and we don’t just think of these people as business associates. They are friends.”

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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