Carnival rides to return to the Summit County Fair
As Summit County Fair visitors approach the event this year, they’ll notice a traditional fair staple along the skyline that has been absent for years: carnival rides.
After a decade-long hiatus, an Arizona-based company will be supplying carnival rides for the 2015 Summit County Fair. The rides will be open to the public from Wednesday, Aug. 5, through Thursday, Aug. 6, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday, Aug. 7, and Saturday, Aug. 8, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"We’ve been trying to breathe some fresh air into the event and we’re excited for it to have a carnival again," Travis English, Summit County Fair manager, said.
For English, who grew up attending county fairs in Pennsylvania, carnival rides and fairs are synonymous.
"That what’s I think of when I think of the fair," English said. "We’re just trying to create that overall look and feel I think a lot of people grew up with. You need to have the carnival. It’s an integral part of the fair experience and I’m excited to offer it."
Organizers have attempted to bring the carnival back, but were always unable to do so because of scheduling or space conflicts, English said. The fairgrounds occupy two properties, a 13.1-acre parcel and a 5.25-acre parcel.
"It’s not quite big enough for some of the larger carnivals out there," he said. "And with it being the first week of August, fairs are in full swing across the country and everyone is booked at that point."
When local organizers attended the annual fair convention in Las Vegas earlier this year, English said they were introduced to Midway West Amusements. He said he was "pretty excited to find someone that is reputable, has nice rides and could work with our small space."
Midway West Amusements will offer 10 rides for kids and adults. In recent years, the fair has featured bounce houses for kids, but the carnival rides will provide another form of entertainment for an older demographic. English said.
"I think it will be fun to have something to offer to teens and adults," he said.
The carnival is a ticketed event and will be funded through ticket sales. Tickets can be purchased the day of and will be $1 a ticket or $25 for a wristband offering unlimited rides.
"We’re just really excited about it and think it will be a lot of fun," English said. "I think the carnival will really lend that look and feel it’s been missing."
The Summit County Fair starts on Saturday, Aug. 1. Several food booths and a beer and wine garden will open at 5 p.m. and the Demolition Derby starts at 7 p.m. A fireworks display is scheduled for 9 p.m.
The fair lasts through Saturday, Aug. 8, and will feature a parade, several 4H and home arts exhibitions, competitions, the Jr. Livestock Sale and PRCA Rodeo.
For more information about the Summit County Fair or to view a schedule, go to http://summitcountyfair.org/.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.