A carnie convention and Giant’s boot!

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Giant’s Camp Restaurant

Gibsonton, FL
Closed 2007 – Giant boot memorial still stands

Gibtown, as it’s known by the locals, has the largest concentration of circus and carnival folk in the country. Drawn there by warm winter conditions, they’ve made their presence known by the rows of trailers and large lots filled with old tilt-a-whirls and bumper cars.

It once run by 8-foot 4-inch giant Al Tomaini, the world famous performer who was married to a 2-foot-6-inch woman (they’re both gone now), the place served a darned fine, cheap breakfast. And by bars like Showtown, where chances are, you could have pulled up a stool next to someone with some pretty wild stories from their days on the midway.

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(Photos courtesy of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations)

Carnie Tradeshow

6915 Riverview Drive
Gibsonton, FL
Website
February 5th to the 9th, 2013

Every February, for the last 50 years, the carnival and circus town of Gibsonton, FL hosts the “Super Trade Show and Extravaganza.”  Known casually as the Carnie Trade Show, this is an event that is dedicated to all things traveling carnivals.

Obviously, the main point of the trade show is to sell things to others in the business, but the event is not just for industry folks.  They welcome rubes, er, casual visitors as well and have set up a variety of things to keep everyone entertained.

Tickets to get in (if you’re not part of the carnival industry) are $50, but they cover the entire five-day event.