National Peanut Festival: The man behind the rides

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - If you’ve driven past the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds recently, you may have noticed a few new additions.

That’s because the team at Reithoffer Shows has been hard at work getting rides up and safety checked.

Their company is no stranger to fairs. The Reithoffer family has been in the business for 126 years.

“My great-great grandfather bought a steam driven carousel and it just built into the company it is today,” Ricky Reithoffer, President of Reithoffer Shows explained.

They’ve been bringing your favorite rides out to the Peanut Festival for over ten years.

Reithoffer Shows President Rick Reithoffer joins News 4 Live at Lunch live from the Fairgrounds to talk about all the fun rides at this year's Peanut Festival.

Out of 20 fair stops of the year, the National Peanut Festival is the last one of the season.

The team spends months on the road, starting in February all the way to November.

Reithoffer said that since he was born into the business, life on the road is nothing out of the ordinary for him. He recounted flying home for school and then flying back out to fairs when he was younger.

“It’s just life for me. It’s just normal for me,” he said.

Reithoffer said that he loves coming to Dothan and loves being in the south.

“Something unique about the Peanut Festival is just the support you get from Dothan and the people of Dothan in general,” Reithoffer said. “You can really tell people have taken ownership of it. This is their festival. This is their fair. And everybody is very proud of it and a big supporter and that’s what makes it such a great success.”

This year, Reithoffer Shows is bringing in a few all new rides.

“Trying to freshen it up, keep it new for the people coming to the Peanut Festival,” Reithoffer said.

Six new rides have popped up at the fairgrounds this year.

The Waveswinger, a new version of the Super Himalaya built specifically for children, a monster truck ride, a brand new fun house called the Madagascar, and a Spiderman obstacle course.

Among these rides is one never before seen.

“The Hulk is making its worldwide debut at the National Peanut Festival,” Reithoffer claimed.

The build came all the way from Italy. Be sure to check out these new rides while you’re out at the fair.

Reithoffer said his favorite part about traveling is meeting the people in each town they stop in.

“When I come here, I live in Dothan for two weeks,” he said.

The team is excited to be in Dothan, meet locals at the fair, and check out their favorite local restaurants.

Reithoffer Shows wants to provide the safest, most fun time for you and your families.

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