About this Site

Website Creator

John Burke

John Burke is one of Billy Burke’s sons and the designer and developer of this website.

Why This Website?

My dad spent pretty much his entire life creating and building things. I remember when we were kids he built us a two-story playhouse and a go-cart out of wood. He seemed to always be making something. But toothpick carnivals became his passion and he spent a lifetime living out that passion. He built many carnivals and individual rides out of toothpicks and he took these creations on the road to show them to people all over the United States.

But there were roadblocks along the way. Money would run out and he would be forced to sell a carnival to get back home from wherever he was. He didn’t charge to see the carnivals but took donations and most of the time didn’t collect enough to keep it going. Then he would end up building another piece or another entire carnival. He just couldn't stay away from doing the thing he loved the most.

My hope is that by creating this website people everywhere will have the chance see these amazing creations known as toothpick carnivals. I hope you enjoy this website. Please feel free to drop me a line and give me your comments by clicking here. And please pass this along to others to see.

Where Can I See Live Toothpick Carnivals?

As I am able to determine the whereabouts of toothpick carnivals still in operation today I will update this page with names and addresses.

Musee Mecanique

Pier 45 at the end of Taylor Street
Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 346-2000

Folsom Prison Museum

Prison Road
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 985-2561
Travel website
Note that the Ferris Wheel at this site is stationary and not operating as of our last visit there. But it is available for viewing.

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