Carnival used in movie about Butterfield Youth Services founder returns to Marshall

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Daniel Yarnell, owner of Toby's Carnival Company Inc., watches as crew members set up a mega-slide outside of Galaxy Hot Wheels Family Skate Center in Marshall. The carnival, which was last in Marshall for the filming of "The Children Nobody Wanted" over 25 years ago, will be open Thursday through Saturday, in partnership with the skating rink.

It was 25 years ago that Richard Michaels directed his movie about Tom Butterfield, "The Children Nobody Wanted," bringing a taste of Hollywood and a young Michelle Pfieffer to Marshall.

The movie depicts the late Tom Butterfield's work which resulted in the founding of Butterfield Youth Services, a center for troubled youth in Marshall.

In it, a young Daniel Yarnell sits in the carnival scene with his grandmother -- providing ambiance, his instant on the silver screen.

"I don't remember it at all, to be honest," Yarnell said, admitting to refreshing his memory by watching the movie a few nights back.

In fact, he hasn't been back to Marshall since the scene was filmed using the traveling carnival his grandfather owned, Toby's Carnival Company.

Yarnell now owns and operates the carnival company out of Arma, Kan., which has returned to Marshall this week for the first time since the movie.

Setting up shop outside Galaxy Hot Wheels Family Skate Center, workers hauled in a dozen rides on the backs of tractor-trailer units. Assembling the Ferris wheel, carousel and giant slide on the outskirts of a cornfield, Yarnell said that the company had about 30 rides in all, but not all are being used for the current gig.

The company no longer owns the Tilt-a-Whirl and Rock-o-Plane seen in the movie. They have since been sold off to other Midwest amusement companies. "The rides are still in operation, just not with us. We've updated," Yarnell said.

To celebrate the carnival's return to Marshall, on Thursday Yarnell said residents of Butterfield Youth Services will be attending the carnival for free.

The carnival will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday along with the roller rink near the corner of U.S. Highway 65 and Highway 240.

Partnered with the skating rink, armbands can be purchased for unlimited rides and skating for $16. These bands will include rink admission, all rides and skate rentals. Tickets for rides and skate admission can also be purchased separately.

Contact Matt Heger at

marshallbusiness@socket.net