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Where it All Began: Coleman's Carnival Opens and the Rain Falls

It's Known as 'the Rainmaker' in Middletown but That Doesn't Stop Thousands From Turning Out for Rides, Games and Food During Coleman Bros' Two-Weekend Run

One thing's for sure in Middletown. Every spring, when Coleman Bros. Shows opens in Middletown, it rains. Tim Coleman, third-generation owner of the carnival that has operated since 1916 no matter what the weather, is matter of fact about his crew's effect on the weather.

"It's good luck," Coleman says. "We're known as 'The Rainmaker.'"

And make rain they do — along with thrills, laughter, wonder, even trepidation with rides like the Thunderbolt, Super Slide, Sizzler, Ring of Fire, Starship Exodus and Tilt a Wheel.

"Some people just come for the food and games," when the weather is bad, says Shae Masse of North Carolina, who started mid-season last year with Coleman Bros.

On opening day, as the crew put the finishing touches on the rides, the plan was to open, despite the forecast of snow and rain, if only for what they call the light show — firing up the tens of thousands of colorful bulbs that signal to passersby that the show must go on.

Coleman Bros. Carnival runs March 31 to April 6, Thursday, 6-10 p.m., and Friday to Sunday, 1-11 p.m., at Palmer Field, off Route 66 (Washington Street) in Middletown.

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Laurie Rich Salerno April 01, 2011 at 03:58 PM
The rainmaker! What a neat detail.
Mel Tavares April 01, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Wondering who out there knows the story behind the rain? I'm new to Middletown, and I hear that there was some sort of curse put on it, by a family member? Something about a loved one dying? I dunno. What I do know, is that people say it rains every time they come to town!
John Brush April 02, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Nicely done video Cassandra; here's one I made last year at this time: http://www.youtube.com/user/johnbrush#p/a/u/0/EZlUfcYxSlM
John Brush April 02, 2011 at 03:13 PM
More than just rain plagued the carnival opening last year; the Coginchaug River was very high and the show shut down for a while. Here is one of Coleman's workers standing at the river's edge (March 31, 2010): http://www.flickr.com/photos/brushbin/4479343146/

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