“I do this for the atmosphere, for the people. It gets my adrenaline going and I can’t deny the excitement,” said longtime cotton candy man, Cameron Knox.
Cameron has been a cotton candy man for the College World Series for 11 years and started at the ripe age of 14. It started as a cool summer job, and turned into a love of his. Cameron noted that the excitement is undeniable and the fans make the hours of walking up and down stairs in 90 degree heat well worth it.
As you can imagine, after 11 years of working the College World Series, Cameron has some pretty interesting stories. One in particular was his second year working the games.
He explained, “There were some drunk teenagers in the general admission section, and some of them went to my high school and had bullied me every now and then. They started poking fun of me for being a cotton candy man, calling me “Candy Boy”. I ignored it, but then they started throwing their cups full of soda and bags full of popcorn at me. This was my second summer and I had developed a good relationship with the security guys. I gave them the nod of go ahead, and the kids were kicked out for the rest of the games that year. Needless to say, I never got bullied by them again. I gained a little bit of empowerment that day, and I fell in love with the job.”
Cameron also mentioned that he had been offered a few crazy things for some free cotton candy. “Some people are willing do anything for a little cotton candy. Without exposing too much, women are up to being a bit promiscuous, which is pretty entertaining but a bribe like that would definitely get me fired,” he giggled.
Although the job can be a good time, Cameron was not hesitant in telling me the downsides. Knox was persistent on saying how awful the heat can be. The humidity plus the constant walking can be very draining, but overall the fans make it well worth the sweat.
When asked about the transition from Rosenblatt Stadium to TD Ameritrade Park, Cameron became very solemn. “Rosenblatt is the definition of my childhood summers. I have so many memories there. Tenth Street was just one big party, and I’ll never forget the blue, yellow and red bleachers.”
Knox knew an upgrade would come eventually, but he also knew he could never prepare for that day. One upside to the change is that TD Ameritrade Park is much more of an organized and spacious venue.
So what skills does one have to have to be a good cotton candy man? Well, Cameron is an expert by now and gave me some great advice on being the best cotton candy seller one can be. A prominent voice is a must. It’s obvious if people can’t hear you over the crowd of people then your sales won’t be very high, but a “twang” to your voice, as Cameron called it, is important. “Act like you’re a cheesy door-to-door salesman while also having a radio-type clear voice, and you’re golden.”
As mentioned before, Knox said he does this for the atmosphere and experience. He has met so many people throughout his decade plus of working the games, and as another year is upon us the excitement is building.
As the weather starts to clear and the smell of Spring is in the air, Cameron can’t help but be pumped for the games. His schedule and section is already in place, so look out for the red shirt in section 110. Cameron Knox will be there doing what he does best, completing that College World Series experience for fans and travelers alike.