RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Doc Rivera ran away to join a carnival at age 14.
"I didn't have two parents," Rivera says with a smile. "I had 40!"
Doc's love for the life of a traveling showman never waned. He's been in the business almost 60 years now. He's owned his own carnival. A talented artist, he's also provided signage for shows.
But his greatest achievement in the carnival and fair biz just may be his Smithsonian-level collection of rides and artifacts at the International Independent Showmen's Museum in Riverview.
An over-the-top spectacle, complete with a 1903 Ferris wheel spinning inside, the Showmen's Museum is a must-see attraction about sideshows and stunt shows and the history of the Tilt-A-Whirl.
The museum is currently open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults. Children under 10 are free.
For more information on the Showmen's Museum, click here.