Setting Up Rides, No Amusement For Carnival Crews - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/04/03

Setting Up Rides, No Amusement For Carnival Crews

Ride operators and engineers are busy getting ready for the start of the 'Summer Fair' on the grounds of the coast coliseum. If you drive by the coliseum for the next week, you'll see dozens of high flying attractions, glittering lights, and mind challenging games. 

"It's hard work, it's extremely hard work, it's a way of life," Bob Gill said.

Bob Gill is the general manager of Farrow Amusements, the traveling carnival of more than 27 rides and attractions. Gill says it takes a special person to dedicate, the necessary time on the road, to be a park engineer and operator.

"I been doing it for 38 years, it's something you like or you don't like. If you like it, it's tough to get out of it once you're in it," Gill said.

There are approximately 65 workers setting up the rides for this year's summer fair. Walking the grounds of the coliseum, sounds of hammers, scrubbers and wrenches fill the air.

"The man hours it takes is the time we've got, if we've got a day, if we've got four days it takes four days, and you'll find an hour before opening everybody is still doing something, whether it's a day or four days," Gill said.

There are so many attractions to chose from it may be hard for you to decide what you're going to ride. If you're in for a good ole fashioned challenge there's always the mirror house maze, which will have you seeing double or triple.

"The most popular ride I guess is the log flume, especially when it's hot, people love to get wet when it's hot I guess. The giant wheel, the twister, the inverter, the chaos, the Himalaya, all the thrill rides, and of course we have a pretty good kiddie line," Gill said.

And don't forget about the added attraction of the petting zoo. There will be 50 animals on display and ponies you can ride. 

"This is always a big crowd pleaser for young and old, everybody likes animals," petting zoon owner Jim Phillips said. 

There's also a 159-year-old tortoise and goats that eat out of your hand.

Summer fair, starts Wednesday and runs through the June 15th. There is free admission, parking is 3 dollars. Monday through Thursday, unlimited rides are $15 per person. Friday through Sunday, unlimited rides are $18 per person.

By Nathan Mihelich

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