Local News

Midway Operator to Return for 2008 State Fair

Posted November 26, 2007

— The Pender County company that ran the midway at the North Carolina State Fair in October will operate the carnival rides and games at next year's fair, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Monday.

Powers Great American Midways operated the largest midway ever at the State Fair in October – 113 rides – while accommodating a record crowd of almost 859,000 people, Troxler said.

"Powers is a well-run family business that has demonstrated the ability to meet our high expectations, and the financial terms of the contract have been very good for the state," he said.

The company will pay the state $5.50 for each person who buys an admission ticket to the 2008 State Fair, the same base rate as this year. Powers paid the State Fair $4 million this year.

The 2008 contract includes a provision that allows Powers to lower its payment 20 cents per person by bringing in two rides that aren't older than 24 months and have never been at the North Carolina State Fair before. This year, Powers qualified for the discount by bringing in Lucky Lizzie and G-Force.

A change in the 2008 contract could benefit fairgoers by allowing the State Fair to sell more advance ride tickets at a discount. The limit will be 350,000, up 25,000 from this year.

Troxler said the increased inventory will give more people the opportunity to take advantage of pre-fair savings. Ride sheets containing 18 tickets will sell for $10 in advance and $18 after the fair begins.

The 2008 State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 17-26, 2008.


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  • nofear Nov 27, 2007

    I have bben going to the state fair for the past 30 some years. It is time for new rides and games. Everything is getting runned down and it does not matter who is setting up the fair. Need to do better crowd control.

  • mvnull Nov 27, 2007

    " It is too small now for the crowd it gets. Also, everything is too spread out." Isn't this a contradiction?

    I agree to the site being too small. I lived in Iowa for 5 years and they had a wonderful state fair grounds. I spent hours at the various exhibits and never once had to pass by the rides and noise.

    I remember a time when parents would give their kids a couple of bucks and send them off to the rides while they looked at the exhibits and judging. Maybe it is time to admit defeat and have an agricultural fair at a different time from the rides.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Nov 27, 2007

    these are redneck rides. If there is a problem with price, pack the family up and go to Carowinds or Kings Dominion. The fair is more than green acher style rides.....

  • crml Nov 27, 2007

    The only way to go is to buy the tickets in advance. That way each ticket is just under 56 cents. However, they used to be only 37 cents in advance, so even that has increased 50 percent.

    Oh well, I loved rides as a kid and its fun to watch my kids enjoy them too. They are still young and are happy on the 3-ticket rides.

  • Z Man Nov 27, 2007

    I don't care who runs the midway, neither myself nor my family will be participating in any rides. The $1.00 ticket really shows how overpriced they are. When you can see that a 5 ticket ride is really a $5.00 bill for a 3 minutes, it's easy to 'just say no'.

  • Space Mountain Nov 27, 2007

    They really need to expand the fairgrounds or get a new site. It is too small now for the crowd it gets. Also, everything is too spread out. Get rid of the grandstand and put all the rides there where they have the tractor pulls. Then leave the rest of the fairgrounds for the food vendors and exhibits. That way people who don't want to ride anything don't have to walk through the same crowd that is going to the rides.

  • bill52674 Nov 26, 2007

    Seemed like there was a majority of food vendors this year. Didn't seem like there was as many exciting rides as years past.

  • retired and luv it Nov 26, 2007

    Isn t it nice to see the State Fair ride entertainment provided by a reputible NC company and not mired in the political scandal and disgraceful greed that came with a previous agriculture commissioner?