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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs

Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs

antikythera antikythera Profile

8/9/13 at
5:30:56 PM

Despite going to amusement and theme parks for many a year, I've often skipped over local fairs and carnivals either because I've never been interested in the rides (for as long as I can remember, they've always come across as outdated, poorly maintained rides -- not to say that's the case) or they have been too pricey to justify (e.g. six tickets for a 50ft drop tower).

In recent years, they've started to offer cheaper all day wristbands, especially if you go earlier in the week. It has been tempting as I usually only go to see the farm animals and/or free shows with the Miss as date night.

I know people here are in love with the smaller parks that slightly resemble larger, permanent fairs so out of curiosity, and to provide a general discussion, does anyone here live for the carnival/fair lifestyle? If so, how are the local fair/carnivals in your area?

My area is known for the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair which has been around since the early 40's and is one of the largest in the state of Maryland.

* This post was modified at 8/9/13 7:08:10 PM *

Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/9/13 9:49:56 PM
It depends where. When I was in Iowa the Iowa State Fair was the one thing that state did very well. It was awesome with some pretty good rides and concerts. It was HUGE. You needed at least an entire day to get around the entire fairground.

The Meadowlands Fair here in NJ sucks and is nothing more than a carnival compared to the Midwest fairs.


Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by Ligtnin78nic Ligtnin78nic Profile at 8/10/13 4:08:30 PM
I've done both amusement parks,fairs,and carnival rides all my life riding.I mostly just do parks now that I'm not as healthy and may not be able to ride the wilder stuff,coasters,and Zippers.Time will tell.But as with parks if the ride don't look good,sound,or the ride op isn't paying close attention I'd avoid it.Lots of rust,blown out light bulbs(alot,few dont matter),etc anything seems off about the ride it probly is.The Zipper is a rickety ride though so it will sound bad to the untrained ear.The Ring of Fire is another one that is rickety.
Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/11/13 5:29:08 PM
Anyplace that has unique fair flats, I'll be willing to visit. I'm so over the places (like my local fair) with the typical fair rides (Ring of Fire, Orbiter etc) There are some fairs in the US with rangy ride selection, but from what I hear Europe kills us here when it comes the unique funfair flatrides.

* This post was modified at 8/11/13 5:29:46 PM *

Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 8/14/13 1:57:50 AM
I generally don't bother with carnivals and fairs for a couple of reasons. First, I'm not that into spinning rides, and most of what you find at carnivals and fairs are just variants of spinning flat rides. Another thing is that I've developed some serious problems with motion sickness in the last few years (never had problems when I was younger) and now I have to wear a prescription motion sickness patch in order to ride anything that spins or inverts, both coasters and flat rides included. The patches aren't cheap, and I am reluctant to blow one on a carnival or fair.

I did, however, decide to go to the Maryland State Fair last summer, and it was worth blowing a patch because I got my first ride on a Zipper. But in general I don't bother.

Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by antikythera antikythera Profile at 8/14/13 10:32:26 AM
My girlfirend's friend wants us to go to the Maryland State Fair with her, so I'm thinking of seeing what the big boy has to offer. If they have a zipper, I'm sold.
Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 8/15/13 1:00:22 AM
They did last year, and if they have the same carnival company the Zipper should be there. In fact, the Howard county fair usually has a Zipper as well, so it may be the same company that does both. The Howard County fair is earlier in the year (usually the first week of August) and so has already come and gone for this year. I also see Zippers at fireman's carnivals as well around here, so in Maryland Zippers aren't hard to find at all.
Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by Stredain Stredain Profile at 8/15/13 7:31:24 PM
When I was a kid, I had a bad experience with a carnival ride (the Zipper?) and it resulted in a severe cut on my ankle when I came into contact with a sharp edge on the ride. I think I brushed against the edge as I was exiting.
Since then, I stay off the carnival/fair rides and stick to the exhibitions. And stuff my face with the fantastic food :P
Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by AngryGumball at 8/15/13 8:23:04 PM
I've always written fairs off my list for a while due to the "ghetto factor" of carnival rides. It wasn't until this past winter when I got to ride some and enjoy the 'sketchy factor' these rides offer. I've done 2 fairs this summer, one being the CA State Fair and the San Mateo County Fair. I've snagged about 5 credits as well with both visits.

A highlight attraction for me would have had to be the Zipper. I had never ridden one in my entire life and recently found out how awesome they are. You also can't go wrong with a well-lubed Super Slide (I rode one this past winter that was actually coated with Armor-All...insanely slick surface, airtime to be had!).

My other favorite ride had to have been the Zamperla Energy Storm (very intense) and the Chance Sky Diver (rider-controlled flat ride).

Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/15/13 11:11:14 PM
I went to the Country Fair this evening with the family. It was the first time that I visited a carnival type event since I was a teenager. We had a really great time at a reasonable price. They had some good rides, including a Claw type ride. They had a junior steel coaster there. We are still debating whether or not to add it as a coaster credit. My wife and her friend even joined us, which is a rarity. We even rode a trolley into the fair that was built in the 1920's. It took 5 years and over $300,000 to restore. On the way out we rode a trolley from 1949. The experience was pretty neat. Really glad we decided to go.
Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 8/16/13 8:20:19 AM
I don't go to them regularly, but I do enjoy some of the flats that you find at them: Orbiters and Zippers were the most common finds at the fair in the city where I grew up.

I quite envy the Europeans as most of the fairs over there are full of rides that are independently owned, so you see a lot more of the large, multi-trailer rides like Top Scans and the like. Granted, the independent owner thing makes the price per ride ratio a little absurd, but the overall size and intensity of the bigger ones is well worth it.


Michael W.

Re: Your Take on Carnivals and Fairs by antikythera antikythera Profile at 8/18/13 12:13:00 AM
Just got back from the last night of our county fair. Didn't ride any rides, just paid to get in to see the sights and sounds.

All the rides were packed but they had a nice assortment of newer thrill rides, many that you would see at a standard amusement park (e.g. Hershey Park's Claw, SkyScreamer, etc.) which was a nice change (not that the old classics are bad in any way).

I even got to pet a real life camel while it gave other guests a slobbering kiss.

Finished it off with some delicious authentic $1 tacos (carne asada/chorizo, pico de gallo, cilantro on a corn tortilla) since they were trying to get rid of their inventory.

Overall, a solid night for ~$12. Can't go wrong with that.