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The Scoop 9-9
I guess rides are fair-ly safe
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There was a time, not too long ago, when the greatest fear associated with fair rides was whether they would make you barf.
Those were the days.
Now, the greatest fear associated with fair rides is whether they will hurl you from your seat and:
a) slam you into the funhouse;
b) mangle you in its gears;
c) plunge you to your death.
So without further ado, allow me to introduce the 2016 Warren County A&L Fair. Our sugar-coated and deep-fried fair begins Friday with carnival rides cranking up their centrifugal force on Monday. It's a nine-day celebration you won't want to miss.
Should you feel frisky and decide to venture onto the Midway to try your luck on The Scrambler, there's no reason to be alarmed. Despite the recent attention surrounding amusement ride maimings, experts say you're more likely to get struck by lightning than seriously injured on one of these rides. Unfortunately, we seem to have encountered some rather stormy weather.
Most of us have likely heard about the 10-year-old boy who was killed this summer on a waterslide in Kansas.
Then there were the three girls who were thrown from a Ferris wheel in Tennessee at the Greene County Fair in August. Like a horror movie, the girls were able to cling to their overturned carriage for about a minute before falling an estimated 35 to 45 feet.
Then just this past Saturday, The Moonraker ride at The Delta Fair in Memphis detected some type of issue and its computer began to shut down the ride. However, the ride operator panicked, hit an override button, and released a lap safety bar restraint that scattered passengers among the center of the ride. No one was ejected, although eight were injured.
None of this is to suggest there are any safety dangers with the rides we are about to board at the Warren County Fair. In fact, in over 20 years of covering our fair, I can't recall a single injury that was the result of a ride malfunction.
As for property damage, I can tell you there's a cellphone that's no longer with us courtesy of The Ring of Fire. According to the story, as told by my teenage son, the phone fell from his pocket while he was upside down on the circular ride.
Judging by the phone's condition, I can only surmise it fell in such a place where it was run over by many of the roller coaster wheels. Or it was hit with a sledgehammer in that test-your-strength carnival game where you try to ring a bell.
I know our fair officials are proud of our accident-free history here in Warren County and they work hard to ensure it continues. I feel confident in saying our children will have the best protection possible when they are spun and flipped at unthinkable velocity.
Now if someone could just protect me from eating so much cotton candy, I'd feel better about the fair.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.