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Mighty Thomas Carnival

Film footage of the old shows is rare. Here’s a great short piece of film showing some of the folks on the Art B.Thomas Shows back in the late 40’s or early 50’s. This show would become the Mighty Thomas Carnival and the show carries on the traditions of of it’s roots even today.

Mighty Thomas Show History

 alt="Thomas Carnival"The Thomas Carnival was founded in 1928 by Art B. Thomas in Lennox, South Dakota. The Thomas Carnival has been owned and operated by the members of the Thomas family continuously since then. Presently there are fourth generation family members working in the business.

Since 1928 the Thomas Carnival has been devoted to Art Thomas’ idea of providing clean, safe and wholesome family entertainment for its customers.

Art initially began the carnival with two attractions operating in the southeastern area of South Dakota.

Carnival founder Art B. Thomas was the youngest son of Herman and Grace Thoms, immigrants from Germany and Holland. Arriving in America during the late 1800s, the Thoms family homesteaded two farms in Iowa and North Dakota.

Art served as a fireman on the railroad, while his brother Walt was an auto body repairman, and his oldest brother Vern worked as a mechanic. Around that time Art met Axel Ben Dixon, who traveled the area with a Merry-go-round. Art invested in a Town Pump concession and accompanied Dixon from town to town selling ice-cold lemonade.

In 1928 he borrowed $500 from Walt for a down payment on a No. 5 Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel, and in 1929 he purchased a Parker Carousel. He decided to change his name from Thoms to Thomas, as the phonetics was more appealing for his new enterprise: the Art B. Thomas Shows.