St. James Fair coming to Gramercy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / May 13, 2000

LUTCHER – The evening sky, awash with flashing lights of all colors in the spectrum, has heralded the arrival of a much anticipated event in St. JamesParish. The fair has come to town. People are coming from far and wide to attend the annual Lutcher-Gramercy Parish Fair. Earlier last week Mitchell Brothers Shows’ equipment beganarriving, setting up the various rides and tents for the show. “It’s likecoming home. Everyone here welcomes us like family,” said LeonardHiggenbotham.

The Mitchell Brothers have been providing entertainment across the south for over 40 years, said Dan Mitchell. The Mitchell brothers, Gus, George andRalph, along with their sons Dultes, Frank and Dan travel from town to town every week from the end of Mardi Gras to Thanksgiving.

The fair is full of rides built for thrills and spills, some towering over nearby Lutcher High School. Though they look frightening, the Mitchell BrothersShows runs a fair ranked third in safety out of some 380 carnivals in the nation. “We go over every last detail to make sure everything’s perfect,”said Leonard. Then a state inspector goes through it all himself, ensuringabsolute safety for the riders.

Mitchell Brothers is a solid group of family members.

“They take care of us. I wouldn’t work for anyone else,” said employee PaulGiuger. When Giuger had take time off for an emergency in the family, theMitchells not only gave him the time off but made sure he got there.

“Everything I’ve ever needed they’ve made sure I’ve had, Giuger added.

Adoration, devotion, pride, respect and love poured from each of the workers as they spoke of their bosses. Dan Mitchell unknowingly proved theircomments true as he answered any of their question with a “yes sir.”The family spirit instilled by the Mitchells has helped to build a respectable and honorable group. “We let the handicap kids ride for free; they let us dothat,” said Giuger. Many bosses are all about the bottom line, but not theseguys, he added.

With rides designed to flip one upside down and all about, the workers explain that money, phones, all sorts of precious items are dislodged by the rides.

“We look hard, under the rides and all over to help them find what they’ve lost,” said Leonard.

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