Wood Entertainment Company
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Michael Wood      1946 marks the beginning of what is now Wood Entertainment Inc., when the late Cecil L. Wood along with his wife Elizabeth and three children, Beatrice, L.W. “Bill”, and F.G. “Red” began the family’s’ storied career in show business. It was 1946 when the family left their home of 7 years in Phillipsburg, KS where they owned and operated a tire shop, gas station, and restaurant equipped with an arcade room in the back and took to the road. First operating a Penny Arcade and food concession with Central State Shows, and then Brodbeck and Schrader Shows, Cecil and his sons also oversaw the maintenance, operation, and transport of several rides for the carnival as well as the arcade and food concession of their own. The family worked together at the carnival until 1951, when Bill was drafted into the USMC where he served two years and the returned to the family business. In early 1952, Cecil was taken from the family in a truck accident, leaving his sons to carry on. 1953 was Red’s turn in the military, when he was drafted by the US Army and served two years before returning to the family business. The Wood family operated the arcade and food concessions until 1960, when Red ventured into the ride business as an owner, while Bill along with his mother and sister continued on with the arcade and food concession until 1964. In 1964 Bill, his wife, mother, and young daughter settled in Kinsley, KS and opened a tire and muffler shop.

     Red continued his new career in ride ownership and began what would become a long and distinguished career in the amusement ride business. 1961 marked the beginning of a long-term friendship and business association with W.G. “Glenn” Wade, first operating his own ride, and then performing maintenance on rides for the W.G. Wade Shows. In 1963, the Allan Hershel Company produced America’s first spectacular ride, towering an impressive 100 feet, and named it the Skywheel. Contractual obligations for the Michigan State Fair facilitated the purchase of this spectacular attraction by Glenn Wade and Red Wood, and a lifelong partnership was formed. First partnered in the Skywheel and then in the W.G. Wade Shows in 1965, the company grew to a size of over 100 rides and attractions before its’ sale in 1981. Along the way, F.G. “Red” Wood is credited with many accomplishments:

1965   -  Reorganized the transport of the Skywheel from 3 to 2 transport trailers for the Allan Herschell Company.
1966   -  Assisted in drafting Act 225 in Michigan, the first legislation governing the use and operations of amusement rides in the United States.
1968   -  Began supplying rides to State Fair of Texas, America’s largest fair, as an independent ride operator.
1974   -  Appointed by the industry trade association, Outdoor Amusement Business Association, as its’ safety committee chairman.
1976   -  Began representing the industry on the ASTM F-24 subcommittee charged with developing the standards governing amusement rides, at the request of its’ trade association, the Outdoor Amusement Business Association or OABA.
1980   -  Along with his partner Glenn Wade, sold the W.G. Wade Shows and started a smaller carnival for an employee of 25 years.  Jim Elliott became there partner, and the three owned the newly formed Elliott Amusement Co. naming the show after Jim Elliott for all the years of loyal service.
1981   -  Formed W & W Specialist, Inc., an inspection and ride maintenance firm servicing exclusively the portable amusement ride business. The first customer was the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, TX. -manager Wayne Gallagher, requested Red personally do an evaluation of all the rides contracted there in response to a tragic accident one year earlier to promote public safety.
1984   -  Contracted by the Del Mar Fair, America’s fourth largest fair in California perform the same job he had for the State Fair of Texas.
1987   -  Served as one of the founding members of the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials or NAARSO, an organization charged with strengthening communication amongst operators and inspectors of amusement rides through sharing of information. NAARSO also developed a test to determine the competency level of an inspector.
1988   -  Begins supplying rides to the Del Mar Fair, America’s fourth largest fair.
1991   -  Elected president of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.
1996   -  Sells the Elliott Amusement Company and forms Wood Entertainment Inc., an independent ride operations firm. Also begins supplying rides to the Minnesota State Fair, America’s second largest fair.
1997   -  Awards given by NAARSO and AIMS at their annual safety seminars to the individual making the most outstanding contribution to amusement ride safety named in his honor. The F.G. “Red” Wood award is given each year.
1998   -  F.G. “Red” Wood succumbs to heart disease, leaving a legacy to his sons Michael and Glen to carry on the family business.
2001   -  The State Fair of Texas names a newly constructed training room in honor of the late F.G. “Red” Wood. Known as the Red Wood Training Room.
2002   -  Inducted into the OABA Hall of Fame by his peers.

     Michael Wood, also a lifelong industry veteran, now heads Wood Entertainment Inc. After graduating from Michigan State University Michael followed in the footsteps of his father in the family business. He currently holds a NAARSO Level III Inspectors certificate, the highest level obtainable through the organization. Michael has attended numerous NAARSO and AIMS safety seminars and served as an instructor sharing his knowledge since 1989. He currently serves on the NAARSO Education committee governing the curriculum for the annual safety seminar held each January.

     In 2000, Wood Entertainment Inc. was contracted by Six Flags Corporation to manage the carnival midway at two events.  It produced in Albuquerque, NM and El Paso, TX. This process included the evaluation of each attraction, and the operation of it by its’ owner in order to be considered for presentation to the public under the Six Flags brand name. The company was also responsible for the site layout, electrical power grid, and management of the daily operation, including ride coupon sales, games of skill, food concessions, and gate admissions. Currently the company serves as a consultant to several amusement ride manufacturers and suppliers, in addition to operation of amusement rides at 5 of the top 10 fairs in the United States.

Rides & Attractions
Techno Power
Wave Swinger
Area 51
Magic Maze
Safari Train
Kid Swing