Stipe Shows

Since 1948

Center City, Minnesota

MSA Member

"Our Business is Fun"



Amid the Great Depression in the mid-1930s, the saga began when Lance and Mame Stipe had a part-time business selling popcorn and root beer at local fairs and festivals. Because popcorn was not widely available at that time, their business was quite lucrative as were most traveling amusement businesses during this period.

In 1948, following World War II, Lance left his job of 20 years as a carpenter and began his traveling legacy. Hitting the road with a newly purchased Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round, and several home-built kiddie rides, Stipe Shows officially commenced.

Through the years, as Stipe Shows was slowly growing, Lance and Mame, as well as son Bill and his wife Mary, brought their carnival to nearly every town in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Bill and Mary, who were significantly involved since nearly the beginning, eventually took over the business after Mame died in 1975 and Lance Stipe died in 1978. Lance and Mame never gave it up; they worked to the very end.

Even having several children who were old enough to run most facets of the business, both Bill and Mary remained materially involved with the carnival right until the very end of their lives. Bill passed away during the summer season of 1992, and his son Barry took over the role of general manager. Mary remained the president of the company until she passed away in 2007.

Today, Barry carries on Stipe Shows as President with his wife Linda. Son Kyle, who is the fourth generation to carry on the carnival business, manages operations and daily activity. Several other family members who carry the Stipe name are usually present to work at any given event.

For about 5 months out of the year, Stipe Shows moves a caravan of 15 rides and a myriad of other vehicles and equipment to fairs and festivals all over eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Stipe Shows has returned to many of the same celebrations and fairs each year for decades, and we continue to add new dates in hope of finding other great events to bring our midway entertainment to.

As we look to the future and business becomes increasingly more difficult, we must present our best and adapt to the changing climate. We hope to continue to grow and let the legacy continue for generations to come.


Site Development by Don Jones.