TR: Fort Worth Stock Show Midway

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This past Sunday, I took my recording equipment out to the Fort Worth Stock Show's midway. I attended with my cousin who is in town from South Korea. This past weekend was the opening weekend for this fair and it runs for about 3 weeks. Rather than give a blow-by-blow account of everything, I will highlight two rides that stood out to me.

This midway featured the typical ride lineup associated with smaller carnivals. Staples included the Zero Gravity (Dartron), the Scorpion (Tivoli), and the FastRax slide (Fabbri). The giant slide was a good one to ride except for the walk to the top. Two funhouses and a dark ride were also present.

Now onto the two rides I'd like to highlight. If anyone is bored in the off season and is looking for a coaster fix, Talley has brought in a refurbished Pinfari Zyklon, called Supernova. SBF overhauled it and put new trains on it. It is a typical Zyklon, however it is much smoother and the cars are roomier. The carnie told me that this is identical to the one that Butler Amusements travels with; you may recall that SBF converted the old Zillerator roller coaster to this. The SBF cars are a lot better in my opinion, except for the crotch strap that holds the bar down. This is the first time this carnival has seen a full-sized roller coaster in 12 years. A Crazy Mouse was brought in for two years a long time ago.

Now we come to the surprise find. Talley has a tendency to bring vintage rides to this carnival and tuck them back for people to find. Three years ago, the vintage ride was an old-school Dartron Hurricane. Two years ago (the last time I went) it was a Paratrooper. This year, what should we stumble across? A rare Chance Zoomer in working order! The Zoomer was intended to be a smaller and more compact version of the Yo-yo. Because it has a smaller spinning radius, it moves a good deal faster than the typical chair swing ride. Sandy Lake Park in Carrollton, Tx has one of these as a permanent installation. I never thought I'd see one again, but when my cousin told me what it was, I immediately went through the gate and got a solo ride. At one point the carnie cranked the ride up to top speed, which was the highlight of the ride. I had forgotten how fast it was capable of going. This was placed on the midway in addition to the Wave Swinger that they always bring in, which I also rode. When I compare the two rides, I prefer the Zoomer.

Overall, this is a really good carnival with aa good selection of rides for everyone. We rode the Zipper twice, and the second time I loudly accused the carnie of showing the girls favoritism by giving them more flips. He must have heard me, because the next thing that happened was that we were flipped at least six times in a row. I feel bad, not! That was one of the best rides I've ever had on a Zipper. This carnival will run until Super Bowl weekend if I remember right. Come on out if you can. Thanks for reading.

John Moore

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