SC State Fair (Conklin Shows) - 10/5/02

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, October 5, 2002 3:51 PM
I hadn't been to a big fair in a long time, and had never really had an interest to go. This year the realization that they would have good rides hit me, so I decided to find a good one. The closest to me are Dixie Classic (Winston Salem, NC, 2 hours), NC State Fair (Raleigh, NC, 2 hours), Cleveland County Fair (Shelby, NC, 1 hour), and the SC State Fair (Columbia, SC, 2 hours). The SC State Fair actually never crossed my mind until I saw Ken Rutherford post about it on RRC. The SC fair easily would have the best ride selection, and would have 2 or 3 big coasters. Conklin Shows did not bring its galaxi coaster, but it did bring the Doppel Looping, Wildcat, and 3 kiddies.

There was a Gamecocks home game, and the stadium is at the fairgrounds, so traffic was absolutely horrendous. It was cool to be able to see the red and white fans in the stadium while on the rides at the fair. Friday was POP and I could get in free for admission, but unfortunately I couldn't go that day. However, that turned out to be a blessing, as Coasterdave informs me that he made the 200 mile drive only to find basically all of the rides still being set up. My father came down with me, and after we entered we walked around seeing what all was there and noting the prices. We didn't go the way of the carnival lunch, and instead ate at a buffee in a building that was $7 (not bad considering how much food on the midway is). Then, it was back to the midway where 2 for the price of 1 rides were going on until 1 PM.

(#87) Doppel Looping - 8.5/10

I hadn't seen the Doppel Looping run yet, but it was open, and the carnies were waiting until the train was basically filled to run it. My dad isn't much of a rider, but since he could ride free with the 2-for-1 deal, he rode in the back car with me. I'll be honest, I didn't expect much from the Doppel Looping, although it is a Schwarzkopf, mainly because I was unsure about how a large coaster would run at a fair. Well, I am pleased to say that Doppel Looping shocked me. It was smooth as glass and very intense. Definitely a suprising ride, and a high-quality steel coaster. Next, we headed over to Wildcat.

(#88) Wildcat - 6.5/10

I didn't go on Cedar Point's Wildcat when I visited in 2000, so I had never been on this model coaster before. Like Doppel Looping, it was smooth as glass without a hint of roughness. The drops were very fun, and I would like to see the drops of one of these combined with the harpin turns on a wild mouse.

My dad wanted to ride ferris wheels before 1 o clock came and 2-for-1 ended, so we rode 2 of them. I got some good photos, and then he left to go see horses and that sort of thing. I went over to the KMG Afterburner, called Fireball. I have never been a huge flat ride person, but I went to the fair hoping to ride some good ones. The Afterburner is now hands down my favorite flat ride. It looked fun and I was excited about riding it, but the sensation was more than I had imagined it would be. The swinging motion created that 'stomach sensation' along with airtime, while the spinning created some awesome G forces.

After the Afterburner, I hit the drop ride (no idea what company made it), known as Drop of Fear. The drop on this was no better than an Intamin Giant Drop, and the brakes were a bit painful. It was a fun ride, although nothing groundbreaking (hey though, it's a traveling ride).

Since there were no huge crowds, I decided I might as well go ahead and try to ride the 3 kiddies, since I would probably wish I had later.

(#89) Orient Express

Not much to say here, it was a kiddie. The carnie gave us 4 laps.

(#90) Wacky Worm

The ladies working this kiddie were getting pretty enthusiastic, and it made the ride fairly humorous (although a 6 foot tall guy riding in the back seat of the Wacky Worm is pretty humorous already I guess).

(#91) Dragon Wagon

This was definitely the funniest moment of the day:

Carnie: Shouldn't you be riding some of the bigger rides?
Me: Already done em, and now I figure I can get all 5 coasters done.
Carnie: You've got to be kidding me...
Me: Nope
Carnie: So you are going to squeeze your fat ass into my little ride?
Carnie: You better hope your girlfriend doesn't come around here and see this.

After getting on I realized for the first time how tiny the Dragon Wagon seats are, and I think the adult in front of me riding with her kid got a real kick out of it.

I headed over to the Kamikaze looping ride and took a ride on it. The Kamikaze essentially a visually-altered looping ship. I still am not too fond of the blood rushing to the head deal. I opted not to ride the Ring of Fire since it seemed to basically be a Kamikaze on a track, and I did not ride the Top Scan because I had done one at Myrtle Beach Grand Prix, and I was running low on tickets. Cumberland Valley Shows had a few rides there as well, and they also had brought an Afterburner, so I rode theirs, and then took another ride on the Doppel Looping. It was getting hot and we needed to leave before the Gamecocks game ended, so I took some photos and videos and then met my father to head home.

If anyone is in the area, I would definitely recommend checking out the South Carolina State Fair. The Doppel Looping is certainly worth taking a couple spins on, and the fair has a nice selection of coasters and rides. For me, next week's ACE Day at Carowinds and Scarowinds will likely end my 2002 coaster season. Thanks for reading!

Track record updated after SC State Fair: http://www.starcoasters.com/webmaster/trackrecord.html

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Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com
"The internet is a great way to get on the net." -Bob Dole

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Saturday, October 5, 2002 4:37 PM

Seems much bigger than the North Georgia State Fair I went to a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, there were no coasters there (even though they advertised a Wacky Worm for this year, and when I could not find it I was disappointed :)) They did have a KMG Afterburner (great), Ring of Fire (bad), Kamikaze (ok), and an awesome Chance Zipper called Chainsaw (INTENSE!). The blasting music with four carnies dancing on the platform of the swinging ship (like they were rappers) was the highlight, though.

P.S. Nice personal pic...and thanks for cutting me out as I can't stand that photo of me ;).

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My two favorite coasters are both named Superman.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!

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Saturday, October 5, 2002 8:21 PM

Sweet TR. Glad to hear you finally rode an Afterburner, I rode one at the Dixie Classic Fair last year and it skyrocketed to the top 5 of my flat ride list... athough, still nothing yet beats the Zipper IMO.

I will probably go to the NC State Fair in a few weeks, and will probably write a report on it. Should be interesting since their not using Strates Shows anymore.

[flashback]

Jeezus.. makes me think of how Strates is the only company I've been to in the last 16 years. Of course the only fairs I've been to is the Dixie Classic and NC State.. (wait.. that tiny carnival in my town that only had 3 rides doesn't count does it?)

[/flashback]

Look forward to seeing you next Saturday at the ACE Event. ;)

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Saturday, October 5, 2002 9:54 PM

You didn't miss much at the Cleveland County fair. Same as it was last year. The only thing of interest was the Zamperla Energy Storm, I believe its called. Even the Ring of Fire wasn't working half the time.

For those of you going to the ACE event at Carowinds next weekend, don't forget to send me an e-mail if you're a season pass holder. Right now we've got around 25ish that's responsed. Who knows how many more I'll get this week! It should be a great day.

Max

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Max Cannon
TomServoMC@aol.com or gwazi@carolina.rr.com
"I love you like the mother I had committed against her will."

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Sunday, October 6, 2002 10:36 AM
I can remember driving back to our old home from Carowinds, only to get stuck in traffic for the Cleveland County Fair;). First weekend of October, it never failed, & right as we were leaving the park always put us on perfect timing for the suprise mini-traffic jam.

The SCFair, I never heard much about this. Doppel Looping! How long are the dates on that one? And, where's it going next!?!?! Or should I say 'who's doing the NC Fair?', I would love a ride on a big portable;(........
The last times we were going to Raleigh, it was when the EuroStar was having, well, major problems(I assume, since the word 'accident' made the news).......

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Monday, October 7, 2002 6:59 PM

I think this weekend is the last days of the SC State Fair. I would like to go but its going to be iffy. Friday night would be the only time I could go and with the Carowinds thing going on the next day, I might just have to pass :(

When is the NC State Fair? Hadn't been there in ages! Had to be when I was in high school back in the 80s.

Max

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Max Cannon
TomServoMC@aol.com or gwazi@carolina.rr.com
"I love you like the mother I had committed against her will."

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Monday, October 7, 2002 7:44 PM

NC State Fair dates - October 18-27

After a many years with Strates Shows they finally dropped them and went with Amusments of America.. hopefully they will be better. They have a KMG Tango advertised on the website, but it broke in Minnesota a few weeks ago.. hopefully it's fixed by now.. Another thing advertised on the site is a Reverchon Spinning Mouse, which is definitely an interesting additon (compared to what they used to have), to say the least.

*** This post was edited by JamminJ on 10/7/2002. ***

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