WATERLOO, Iowa - The Phineas & Penelope Fitch Traveling Sideshow & Carnival is the oldest in the United States. It is even older that The Buffalo Jeffrey & Chief Crazy Cow Traveling Sideshow & Carnival.
The carnival's owner and director of operations Phineas Fitch was recently interviewed by Redwood Fingerboo of The Cucamonga Chit Chat Chronicle.
Mr. Fitch was asked how many days a year the carnival operates. He took a bite out of his pink cotton candy and answered, "The carnival operates 365 days a year. We work on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and even on Doris Day. In other words, we work all the time."
Fitch revealed that their oldest daughter, Niagara Falls Fitch, was actually conceived behind the cotton candy machine 27 years ago on his wife's 30th birthday.
"You named your daughter Niagara Falls? Fingerboo asked quite surprised.
"Yes sir, we did." Fitch replied proudly
"So, I guess it's a safe bet to say that the carnival was playing in Niagara Falls, New York, when she was conceived huh?"
"No," replied Fitch, "Actually, the carnival was in Bakersfield, California that night...but my wife has just kind of always liked the name Niagara Falls. Our second daughter was named Mount Rushmore Fitch."
"But the carnival was not at Mount Rushmore when she was conceived was it?" Fingerboo asked.
"Oh yes, when Trixie was conceived the carnival was playing at the Mount Rushmore parking lot."
"Okay, I thought you just said that your second daughter was named, Mount Rushmore Fitch."
"That's right." Fitch responded.
"Well then, how come you just called her Trixie?"
Fitch smiled as he took a sip from his bottle of Wild Turkey, "Oh, that...yeah, funny thing, when Mount Rushmore first entered high school, some of the boys began teasing her about having such an unusual name."
Fitch took another sip of Wild Turkey. "Now, me personally I really didn't think that Fitch was all that unusual, but you know how mean and cruel young high school boys can be."
The carnival owner went on, "But at any rate, for her 16th birthday, we had her first name officially changed from Mount Rushmore to Trixie.
And let me say that it did wonders for her self-esteem. Not to mention the fact that the cruel and lascivious jokes stopped overnight."
Fitch then remarked that their youngest child, a boy was conceived on one of the carnival's most popular amusement rides, the infamous Flop-A-Knocker."
"Mr. Fitch, please don't tell me that you named him Flop or Knocker."
"Come on, don't be silly," Fitch laughed, "Of course we didn't name him Flop or Knocker...we named him A."
"Ah, just plain A?"
"Yup, just plain old A."
"Amazing." Came the response from Fingerboo.
Fitch explained that the ride was voted by International Carnival Rides Illustrated Magazine as one of the scariest rides in all of the carnival world.
He said that The Flop-A-Knocker spins 360 degrees at speeds reaching up to 170 miles an hour. So hence, that is how the name Flop-A-Knocker came to be.
END OF PART I.
PART II OF THE PHINEAS & PENELOPE FITCH TRAVELING SIDESHOW & CARNIVAL TO FOLLOW.