|2014 Georgia National Fair Logo|
Tuesday, Terry and I decided to check out the Georgia National Fair, a fair we'd last been to over 7 years ago. Though we live in Atlanta, there are no fairs in the area that are as massive as the Georgia National Fair. The Georgia State Fair at the Atlanta Motor Speedway is less than half the size of the Georgia National Fair. The midway features Reithoffer Shows' blue unit. Reithoffer's is the same company that took over Pensacola's fair after Gooding's Million Dollar Midways when out of business in the early 1990's so the Reithoffers midway has a little sentimental value just because I remember them as a kid.
|Reithoffer Ticket Booths, not my photo|
|Booger Boy In A Pink Shirt Guy, What a Pig!!!|
|Agri-Lift at the Georgia National Fair, not my photo.|
|Flip N Out just before it broke down the first time.|
|Zamperla Air Race|
We decided at this point, we'd check out some of the animals and exhibits. Goats are one of my favorite animals but I could only stand to be in their enclosures for a short time thanks to the gnats that seemed to be everywhere. The 3 exhibit halls, were well air conditioned and definitely a great change from being in the blazing sun. Throughout the exhibit hall, I found a lot of awesome crafting ideas...I'm such a 70 year old woman at heart but there's only so much of crafts you can take with screams from the midway in the background before you want to be back out there. So we took the long way around, grabbed 2 bottles of Coke for $5, which was pretty cheap considering most vendors were selling the bottles for $4.00. Anyway, we saw 2 mobile homes parked on the grounds and decided to walk through them. I actually had thoughts of burning my house down and replacing it with one of the trailers. I have NEVER seen a trailer as nice as these two homes. In fact, while Terry and I were house shopping back in 2003, not one house beat the awesomeness of the insides of those two trailer homes. We also looked at travel trailers, which I've also fallen in love with. I could totally live in one of those also.
|Inside of a trailer.|
|The bathroom in a trailer.|
|Just like the travel trailer I want.|
Flip N Out was back in operation so we stood in line but Terry decided it really didn't appeal to him so I ended up riding it alone. I think the fact that it broke down right before we were able to ride it earlier sort of put him off from it. My memories of this massive ride have always been good, it was a gentle thrill ride. The ride was refurbished a few years ago and has only been used at a few of Reithoffers larger spots so one would think the condition of the ride would be better than what it appeared. It's time for a new refurbishment. The guys operating the ride spent more time fiddling with the controls than we spent in motion and we flipped about 7 or 8 times and the ride was over. Throughout the ride, a lock of someone's hair that was snatched out and stuck in the restraints kept tickling my head, neck and ears. I looked like I was swatting flies and gnats but it was actually someone's hair. The riders after me were the last group before the ride broke down again. Like I said, time for refurbishment.
Our plan was to do a thrill ride, then gentle ride and check out exhibits and vendors then do it all again to keep us from overly exerting ourselves. This plan was thwarted by a thrill ride that independently travels to large fairs called the Space Roller. I've known of this ride since it was with Cumberland Valley Shows. I'd never ridden the ride but seen countless photos and videos of it. The ride was built in Holland by Mondial and is extremely popular throughout Europe. After riding this ride, I can't understand how it can get TUV approval yet rides like the American built Zipper or Sky Wheel cannot. I was in an outer seat, Terry was next to me in the second seat...I'm sure his seat was slightly less of a thrill than mine...None the less, the ride started and I knew it was something that I underestimated. This was the first ride that I ever saw Terry freak out on, he couldn't breath and was extremely uncomfortable. I had discovered when I was a kid that you can't tense up and "fight" a ride so I just went limp and let the contraption sling me around without fighting because it was gonna do it anyway and I knew it would be over soon. I felt like a fucking ragdoll. When we got off, Terry hobbled off looking like he was either gonna throw up or pass out. I was a little better but we both had to sit for a minute. All in all, as spectaclar looking as the Space Roller is, neither of us will ride it again. I discovered when I got home that I have bruises that stretch from the top of my shoulders to just under my chest and arms. Terry's got bruises on the tops of his shoulders. We now refer to is as the Death Roller.
|Mondial Space Roller|
|Bruising from the Space Roller|
|More Space Roller Bruising|
We went down to the Georgia Grown exhibit hall, had a seat for a few minutes in the air conditioned building and hatched a plan. We were thinking of heading to a hotel with a pool, renting a room and sit in the pool for a little while, come back and enjoy the fair a little more and go back to the room and come home in the morning. We couldn't get a decent net connection on either of our phones so we couldn't priceline it. Terry knew that I had to get some pics so I left him there for a few minutes to walk the midway and get pics of the larger rides. I've gotten really good at taking pics as I walk, at fairs like this one you have to be as quick as you can because people will step in front of you and stop with no care in the world. If you look at most of my carnival pictures, you'll see that I tend to take pictures of certain rides from the same angles...Many of the rides were in congested areas that it's only possible to get side or angled shots. It only took 15 minutes to get every shot I wanted and back to Georgia Grown I went. If you're interested in checking out all the photos that Terry and I took at this fair as well as many others, click here to visit my flickr photo pages.
We headed to the car an drove north on 75 looking for a hotel with a pool...found a few but they were either too much for us to justify the expense or the pool was closed. We decided to just head home, after a stop at a Wal-Mart for sunburn relief lotion and swim trunks which we never found. We were exhausted, beat up and sunburned and already satisfied with the amount of fun we experienced for the day and it didn't make much sense to rent a hotel room less than an hour and a half from home. We stopped at Denny's in Locust Grove, ate dinner and within 20 minutes we were back at home slathering Ocean Potion all over our sunburned extremities.
Other cool elements that set this fair apart from others I've been to is the amount of strolling performers that wander throughout the grounds. One act in particular reminding me of clowns which sent me walking faster than usual AWAY from them and Terry wanting to go closer towards them. That particular act was called Mango & Dango. One was walking on stilts and the other driving a contraption called the Magical Flying Umbrella Ship while wearing stilts. It was creepy as hell and I couldn't bring myself to get close enough to take pictures. Other strolling acts were Ed & Geraldine's Old Time Music and an older couple with a cart selling wooden Jig Dolls. An act that we watched for a few minutes featured some super cute guys being pulled across 2 pools by a truck mounted winch doing wakeboard stunts called Rail Jam! Wakeboard Show. Unfortunately, we didn't really see half of what the fair had to offer thanks to the our levels of comfort quickly dwindling due to the sun, heat, gnats and body discomfort from the Space Roller.
|Mango & Dango, not my photo|
All in all, I'd say that the Georgia National Fair is one of the most amazing I've ever been to. The only things I'd suggest they improve upon is controlling pests and adding more air conditioned or at least shaded areas that people can sit without having to go from one end of the grounds to the next. As for Reithoffer's midway, it's as amazing as I remembered though I've never liked their color schemes of some of their rides orange is one of their main colors which looks like brown to me. Having grown up seeing their show, there are elements of their midway that I do miss. They used to have a Sky Wheel, though it was not as nice as most as well as 2 amazingly well kept rides built by Huss, Rainbow and Enterprise. In my opinion, if they added these 3 rides back to their line up, it would be the perfect carnival line up.