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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Enjoying the ride

For Charlene and Guy Leavitt, life really is fun and games. Married for nearly 30 years, the Leavitts, members of Mountain View Lutheran Church, Phoenix, own possibly the country’s largest carnival—Ray Cammack Shows.

Charlene and Guy Leavitt set up their
Charlene and Guy Leavitt set up their carrousel at 11 events each year, as they take their second-generation carnival on the road in the Southwest.
Just how large is their operation, known to most as RCS? The carnival, which travels to 11 events annually in California, Arizona and Texas, has 15 food stands, 55 rides and 33 games. It takes 165 trucks and 110 RVs to haul the business and more than 1,200 employees to move RCS from one venue to the next.

The main attractions are two roller coasters and the largest portable Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere, standing 160-feet tall and capable of carrying 244 people at a time.

The carnival’s size is a far cry from its tiny beginnings. Charlene and Guy each inherited their fathers’ carnivals. Guy’s dad, Harley Leavitt, was a home builder who traded a residence for a merry-go-round. Ray Cammack, Charlene’s dad, sold cars near a neighbor who owned a carnival.


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

Reinventing Sunday school

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