||Ellis and Verne Winton founded Cumberland Valley Shows in 1933 when they
purchased Wade and Webb Amusement Company in Fairbury, Illinois. Mr. Winton paid one
thousand five hundred dollars for the Show. At that time the Show consisted of a Ferris
Wheel and a Merry-Go-Round along with tents for an Athletic Show and a Minstrel.
With $750 dollars of his own money and the rest borrowed from Union Peoples Bank in his
hometown of Manchester, Tennessee, Ellis Winton moved the tiny carnival by train back to
middle Tennessee. He began building a route through the Cumberland Valley of Tennessee. It
was from this route that the Show took its name.
Lavoy Winton, Ellis son, and his wife, Mildred, worked with the carnival. Lavoy
became a partner in the business in 1948. The Winton family continued to operate the
company until the end of 1975 when they sold it to the Floyd and Baxter family of Lebanon,
Tennessee. The new owners were Dallas Floyd, J.D. Floyd, and Billy Baxter. The Floyds and
Baxters had been long time friends and business acquaintances of the Wintons. This made
the transition of ownership easy and the Wintons continued to travel the original route
for several years after the show was sold.
Previous to purchasing the Show in 1975, the Floyd and Baxter family had many
years of outdoor amusement experience. First came a popcorn trailer purchased in 1947.
With the success of the popcorn trailer other concessions soon followed. Popcorn, cotton
candy, and hot dogs on a stick (corndogs) were served up in abundance at area fairs,
festivals, and football games in middle Tennessee. Next, Floyd and Baxter Manufacturing
was established in 1962 and operated until 1975. This was the only U.S. company that built
the building for the well known bumper car ride. Several hundred were built and sold
throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Beginning in 1975 and under the direction of Jimmy Floyd, J.D.'s son, Cumberland Valley
Shows started an evolution from a small fifteen ride carnival operating a fourteen week
season covering 650 miles to its present day size.
The 1980s and 1990s saw tremendous growth for CVS. The carnival route expanded as far
north as Michigan and south to Florida. The season grew from fourteen weeks to almost
eleven months a year. The number of locations served became so great that the carnival was
forced to split during the fall season into two separate units.
Cumberland Valley Shows sustain major setbacks in 1998 and 2000 with the tragic deaths of
Jimmy Floyd and Billy Baxter. These untimely deaths and major economic uncertainties
nationwide forced CVS to reorganize their business plan in 2005. The CVS of today is a
sleeker and better supervised, operated, and maintained midway company. Jeremy Floyd,
Jimmys son, and his wife Kate began this transformation when they assumed the
leadership position in 2006. Jeremy marks the inclusion of a fourth generation Floyd at
the helm of the family owned business.
In 2007 tragedy struck CVS again as legendary showman J.D. Floyd passed away. J.D. was a
nationally recognized icon in the amusement industry. The passing of J.D., Billy, and
Jimmy was a great loss for the company but, their hard work and integrity will forever be
a part of CVSs future.