Press Clippings

Carnival Black & White drawing


BY Joseph Cassidy and Henry Lee

Despite the stern emphasis on culture, a nostalgic touch of defunct Steeplechase Park - penny arcade, kiddie rides, "walk-throughs" and popular priced attractions called "hanky-pank" games in the carnival business - will enliven the World's Fair this season, THE NEWS was exclusively informed yesterday.

Fair President Robert Moses also is "thinking over" plans for a night club featuring "special dancing" - girls - and there has even been talk of a freak show, though nothing definite has come of that yet.

Some agreements have already been signed and want ads for "skill game operators" at the Fair are appearing in Amusement Business, the bible of the carnival and amusement industry. While no public announcement has been made by the Fair, a spokesman acknowledged the closing of certain of the contracts.


Asked whether this represented an easing off of Moses' adamant stand against undignified attractions, the spokesman said: "No, this is just another aspect to the new, improved Lake Area."

Originally known as the Lake Amusement Area, this section on the wrong side of the Long Island Expressway has been the Fair's own little Appalachia.

One of the failures there, the Texas Pavilion and Music Hall, is being taken over by Jimmy Chiang, 46, Chinese-born show biz promoter from Texas who became a U.S. citizen six years ago through a special act of Congress introduced by the then U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson.


Under the contracts he has signed with former Judge Samuel I. Rosenman, head of the Lake Area, the first floor of the Pavilion will be striped down and the interior walls lined with penny arcade games. In the center of the hall there will be nine kiddie rides, 20 cents each, 3-for-50 cents and 7 for $1.

Upstairs, Chiang told The News, he will install the Carnival Frontier Palace room, a large restaurant offering American and Continental cuisine, and the Carnival dinner club, which will be "a night club featuring special music and special dancing."

SOURCE: New York Sunday News, March 14, 1965

Mr.Chiang and four star general William Potter, Fair's Executive Vice President, hang new sign from belcony of former Texas Pavilion

SOURCE: New York Daily News, Friday, March 26, 1965

Chiang & Potter hang sign


Kiddie rides and can-can girls will be part of the $1million dollar Carnival Pavilion for "the entire family" that will occupy the site of the former Texas Pavilion at the World's Fair, it was announced yesterday.

Fair President Robert Moses officially endorsed the plans which were first bared in the Sunday News of March 14. "We welcome the new pavilion as an important addition to the revitalized Lake Area," Moses said. "Carvinal personifies the area's concept of clean fun for the whole family, young and old alike".


For the youngsters, the new air-conditioned Carnival Pavilion will contain a series of rides ranging from a boat trip to a miniature helicopter flight. Games similar to those found in penny arcades will flank the walls of the $6 million structure which last year housed the ill-fated Texas Music Hall.

Two indoor restaurants with a seating capacity of 700 will be a part of the redecorated pavilion. A Carnival dinner club is being created on the second floor and will offer "sophisticated night club entertainment, of a type not yet decided upon" a spokesman for Jimmy I. Chiang, Chinese born promoter of the pavilion said.


The larger Carnival Frontier Palace will feature can-can girls, one spokesman said, adding that the girls will "sing as well as dance and shout "whee" and "whoo" to the music. When not performing on the large stage behind the bar, the dancers will give free shows "outside the Pavilion" alongside a number of adult rides, including a miniature roller coaster on which the riders shout "whee" and "whoo."

SOURCE: New York Daily News, Friday, March 26, 1965




"Mr. Chiang is from Marshall, Texas, the hometown of Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, Lady Bird," the man from the agency said.

Yes, but are there going to be girls here?

"Mr. Chiang is going to make Carnival the biggest attraction in the Lake Area," the man said. He began giving out little stories about how the long-vacant Texas Music Hall was being redone and was to be renamed Carnival, the "multimillion-dollar entertainment park".

What kind of girls? Are there going to be girls? Here? At this year's World's Fair? What kind of dancing are they going to do?

"Did you read my release?" the man asked.

The release said "The Carnival Frontier Palace will feature Can-Can girls and other entertainment."

What was this "other entertainment?"

"Discotheque. Upstairs is going to be called the Café Au Go Go Upstairs. Isn't that nice?"

Where will these girls dance, the discotheque girls?

"On the stage over the Frontier Palace Bar. They'll alternate with our 10 can-can girls who are deep in rehearsal."

Sounds fine. But didn't Robert Moses say that he didn't want girls? That he had promised there wouldn't be any atmosphere of the honky-tonk at the Fair?

"Did you read my release?" the man asked.

The release said: "Fair President Robert Moses said he welcomes the new pavilion as an important addition to the revitalized Lake Area. Carnival personifies the area's concept of clean fun for the whole family, young and old alike. The youngsters will have seven rides of their own. Now visitors to the fair can spend hours as spectators and participate at exhibits, shows and rides representing healthy amusements."

"That's what Mr. Moses said" the man from the agency said.

An observer observed that on the face of it, it looked as if Carnival was going to be a complex of rides for the children and a place where Dad can watch continuous performances of salient features of contemporary culture.

"The girls will be doing a straightforward dance" the man said.

What this meant in non-agency terms was that the Texas Music Hall is becoming Carnival under the lease of Jimmy I.C. Chiang, 46, a former Nationalist Chinese Army colonel who ran the restaurant in the Pavilion of China last season. He'll have a restaurant and a complex of children's rides with such names as the Wild Mouse, the Scooter and the Rock-O-Plane.

And, on the second floor, there will be the Carnival Dinner Club, which will offer, the man said, "Sophisticated night club entertainment."

And what was that going to be?

"Sophisticated night club entertainment" he said.

SOURCE: New York Herald Tribune, Friday, March 26, 1965


Jimmy I.C. Chiang, 46, of Marshall, who last year was general manager of a restaurant at the China Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, announced Saturday he was planning an entertainment park that will occupy the site of the former Texas Pavilion at the Fair.

Chiang, who is in New York, announced that more than $1,000,000 is being spent to renovate and convert the Texas Pavilion into a Tivoli-like fun center for children and adults. Features range from a roller coaster to a discotheque and from an ice cream parlor to a dinner club.

He said the new park will be called "Carnival".

According to Chiang, "Carnival will have features especially selected for children and other chosen for adults. All will be popularly-priced and all will be suitable for the entire family".

The former 2,400-seat Texas Music Hall auditorium built at a cost of about $6,000,000 is being converted to an entertainment complex for children, with seven rides, souvenirs, exhibits and refreshments.

Outside there will be a Sea Aquarium, a replica of an ocean liner filled with 500 varieties of rare and exotic fish, three adult rides, free entertainment, and low priced snacks bars with seating for 1,200. These outdoor eating facilities include a shrimp bar, Mexican Garden, and ice cream parlor and a beer garden. The adult rides will include the Wild Mouse, a mild Roller Roaster, the Scooter (bumping cars), and Rock-O-Plane.

Carnival will also have two indoor restaurants with a combined seating capacity of 700. The Carnival Frontier Palace, one of the restaurants, will feature Can-Can girls and other entertainment. American and continental foods, with entrees priced from $1.00 to $3.50, will be served. Plans are being completed for discotheque dancing.

In addition, Chiang said that the Carnival Dinner Club is being created on the second floor of the Pavilion. The Club will offer sophisticated night club entertainment and an American and continental cuisne, at a $1.25 minimum. Redesign and refurnishing of the restaurants are being executed by interior designers of Straus-Duparquet, Inc.

Carnival is the property of Flushing Meadow Concessions, Inc., a new corporation formed for this specified purpose. Chiang, who is President, said that there is no connection between the new Corporation and the 1964 operations at the Texas pavilion, now defunct.

SOURCE: Marshall News Messanger, Sunday, March 28, 1965


Webmaster's note- Thank you to Mr. Jimmy Chiang for submitting these news clippings on Carnival. So little is known about the attractions featured in the Lake Area. These clippings are treasures of information from the past regarding the attraction and Mr Chiang's involvment. The story of the demise of the Texas Pavilions and Music Hall has been documented by journalist Jim Hill at his website. It is an interesting read and I encourange you to do so if you don't already know the story! Mr. Chiang rescued a multi-million dollar building from the padlocks.

Mr. Chiang writes:

Mr. Chiang was the sole owner and President of the “Carnival Pavilion” (former Texas Pavilion) at 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair under the company name of Flushing Meadows Concessions Inc. The Hollywood superstar Ms. Goldie Hahn was one of the five can-can girls who worked for Mr. Chiang’s “Carnival Pavilion”. He paid all bills and met all obligations and “honored everything all the way to the end of the Fair”. And the Fair authority was very pleased and proud of him; especially, since many others “enjoyed” the so-called last 30-day tax holidays. (Mr. Jim Diamond, Fair Treasurer, who was so impressed and said that Mr. Chiang was the only one still paying bills till the last).

Mr. Chiang has become a citizen of U.S. since 1961 through a special act in Congress sponsored by LBJ, then Majority Leader in the Senate, Sam Rayburn, then Speaker of the House, and Congressman Wright Patman of the 1st District of Texas. At the opening date of his “Carnival Pavilion,” President Johnson and the First Lady, Ladybird, personally came to visit him and gave their blessings. It was worldwide publicized by the news media.

Mr. Chiang has been active since 1961 in the Democratic Party and served as the Co-Chairman of Democratic Finance Committee, Special Advisor to Chairman of DNC, close friend and advised on Far Eastern affairs to President LBJ, President Carter and President Clinton. However, the Chiangs also have many Republican friends since Mrs. Chiang is a devoted Republican. As a matter of fact, recently they had a number of occasions meeting with former President Bill Clinton in November 2003 and President George Bush in December 2003 and January 2004 and had blessings from both of them.

Mr. Chiang is a native of Shanghai, China. In the last few years, he has spent most of the time in Shanghai; especially, he is so pleased to see his native city becomes the fastest growing city in the world and, it has won the site for EXPO 2010. As he has great interest in Taiwan (Mrs. Chiang was born in Taiwan) and they have residence there. Mr. Chiang went to Taiwan in 1946 with C.K. Yen who later became President of Taiwan, and took over Taiwan from Japanese occupation. Many of Mr. Chiang’s Taiwanese friends including world famous industrialists have encouraged and requested him to organize a Taiwan Pavilion or Overseas Chinese Pavilion (official name to be negotiated and approved by Chinese EXPO authorities), since he has successful experience in 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and Osaka EXPO 70, as well as other valuable qualifications.

In the meantime, Mr. Chiang has been working closely with a number of U.S. Senators and Congressmen who are in favor of American participating EXPO 2010 Shanghai, as well as substantial U.S. enterprises which are interested to participate said project.

Expo 2010 Promotional Material

Mr. Chiang’s ambition is to utilize his talent, successful experience and expertise, along with his close relationship with world-class enterprises to build the first one or two major pavilions on the site.

Some of the news media has called Mr. Chiang as “Father of World Expositions” in recent news reports.

As Fair enthusiasts, we wish you great success, Mr. Chiang! If you'd like to contact Mr. Chiang you may do so at

-Bill Young, February 2004