State Fair of West Virginia 2007

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August 2007
Lewisburg WV

I always loved going to the State Fair of WV. This was something we did every year when I was young and I had so much fun the previous year that I knew I’d go again in 2007. With the addition of some new rides, including a new coaster to add to my track record, I decided I would meet my parents there on the last day of the fair since they would be going up the day before and camping at the fair grounds. I’m not a huge fan of camping, and haven’t camped at the State Fair since I was very small, so I stayed home and on Saturday morning got up and drove to Fairlea.

The drive was just under 2 hours and the weather was beautiful. The skys were clear, it wasn’t too hot, and the humidity, which has been a problem the weeks prior to the fair, was low. When I finally saw the skyline of the midway I was excited when I saw that one of my favorite rides the Freak Out there even though it wasn’t on the schedule. Then I saw another new ride, a Chance drop tower, that was also not scheduled to be there. Once I arrived, I pulled into the Fair’s parking lot and met my mom, dad, and sister, then we rode back to the camping area where they had their tents set up. Mom and Dad were going to use my Xterra to pack up most of their stuff, so I headed over to the gate to meet up with my brother in law, my niece, and my nephew.

After getting to the gate I paid the $10 to enter and headed over the bridge to the fairgrounds. I met up with Johnny and the kids at the bottom of the bridge, paid for my Ride Till 5 bracelet, and we headed to our first ride, a new coaster.

Wild MouseThis thing looked brand spanking new. I wasn’t aware it was a spinning mouse until I got up close. I’d ridden 2 Reverchron spinning mice previously, but this was the newer Zamperla model, and the layout was slightly different. The wait was about 10 minutes, but it moved quickly. This was my first coaster ever with Chris and Kaitlyn. The spinning was okay, and the ride was fun. A basic spinning mouse, and another credit.

The midway had changed dramatically from previous years, with most of the returning rides in completely different spots. In fact, the only thing that looked to be in the same spot was the Freak Out. Gone was the Inverter and some haunted houses but they added a new coaster, a drop tower, a Full Tilt, and some new kids stuff, including some fun houses. Since we were at the drop tower, we rode it next.

Sling Shot-Most people complain about these, but the one I’d ridden was in Myrtle Beach and it was fun. The cycle for this is unusually long and as we waited in line, Chris got more and more nervous. I just kept telling him this was nothing compared to the Zipper that he’d ridden earlier in the day, and that Dr. Doom’s Fearfall was far worse than riding this short tower. As I went thru the gate and sat down, I realized that Chris and Kaitlyn weren’t behind me, they’d be on the next cycle. This ride shoots you up the tower, but it only shot you up about half way. It gave a nice pop of airtime on the way up. Then it takes it’s sweet time making it’s way up the tower. Very slowly. The drop was underwhelming as well.

I got off the ride and stood with Johnny for a minute to watch the kids launch once they were on. Then, as the gondola slowly went up the tower, I went over and got a Philly Steak Sandwich and some water. We could tell Chris was nervous, but once the ride was over and they dropped, he got off and said it wasn’t nearly as bad as he had thought. Next, the kids got on another flat ride that I wasn’t in the mood for. Then they rode the scrambler, which was giving a long cycle. Thankfully I opted out, knowing that I’d get sick since I’d just eaten. We passed by Pharaoh’s Fury and the kids wanted to ride, so we hopped in the middle.

Pharaoh’s Fury-I normally don’t ride these types of rides after eating, but the ride was fun. Swinging ships can give great amounts of airtime, but this was only okay. The cycle was kind of short. I prefer the larger Pirate ships.

Afterwards we headed to the Full Tilt. Johnny had went to play some games and told us he’d meet us at the other coaster in the back, but once we got to this ride, he’d finished and met us there as we boarded.

Full Tilt-I’d never ridden one of these. Basically it’s a Rainbow/Falling Star/Conestoga type of ride, but where the gondola tilts forward during parts of the cycle. And it was running great cycle. This was the first time I’d ridden this kind of ride that had over the shoulder restraints. We sat in the middle, and once everyone was seated we were off. Man this thing was violently good. The tilting didn’t do much, but it swung multiple times in both directions and gave an insane ride. I’d like to see more of these, but it still didn’t beat the Rainbow at Myrtle Beach.

In line for the Full Tilt I tried to talk Chris into riding the Tango. I knew Kaitlyn would ride, but Chris needed convincing. I don’t think Johnny was too thrilled with Chris riding, but he let him and we got in line.

Tango-My only problem with the Tangos are the seats. I’d rather have actual seats than the bicycle seats on it, but oh well. Tango was running well with a good program. Chris and Kaitlyn both enjoyed it, but had the same issues I did with uncomfortable seats. There was a kid on another arm that was totally freaked out and screaming the entire time, and it was annoying, but the people on the ground thought it was funny. I can’t even give a description of a ride on a Tango, because you’re so disoriented the entire time. Suffice it to say, they’re a fun flat ride that could use a better seat and restraint.

We skipped the other coaster for now and made our way down the other side of the midway. Around the back of the park was the stall to throw a baseball at the clown to dunk them, so we watched this guy make fun of a bunch of people for about 15 minutes. Kaitlyn and Chris almost road the Ring of Fire, but we went to the Freak Out instead.

Freak Out-The program this time wasn’t quite as good as in previous years. I was squished in because the over the shoulder restraints on these do not easily conform to someone over 6 feet tall and with a broad chest. I love being on the out side of the gondola when the arm swings out. We had a full gondola, but the guy facing directly in front of me didn’t seem to be enjoying the ride. Chris and Kaitlyn had ridden this, though, and were happy to ride again.

My sister finally met up with us and Kaitlyn and I went over and got in line for Speed, the sky scraper. I’d never ridden one and Kaitlyn wanted to ride, but it only loads 8 people at a time and the ride cycles were over 2 minutes. Plus the line was really long, so we opted to ride something else. Jacqui and Johnny went off with my parents, so the kids went with me and we went around to the other side of the midway once again as the kids wanted to ride the Orbitor. Once they got off, I took the chance that I had with my niece and nephew and we went over to ride the kiddy coaster.

Orient Express-I have a new most hated coaster to add to the list. I’ll never have to ride this again. Ever. I hated it. We went around the track 9 or 10 times, and it was painful every time. And every time we went around the lift hill ‘drop’, I squashed Kaitlyn. The only thing good about this was that my coaster count went up by one. I guess that’s good.

After that we headed back to the last coaster we hadn’t ridden yet, the Indy 500 coaster. It’s not that exciting, but it’s the only coaster that the fair offered for years.

Indy 500-I rode with Chris and I have to say, it was giving a decent ride today. None of the trim brakes on the course seemed to be on so it was going rather fast. I don’t have much to say, mostly because I’d ridden it a bunch of times previously and I’ve never thought it was that fun.

It was closing in on five o’clock, so we hopped over to the Ferris wheel, which I hadn’t rode in many years. The line was kind of long, but that was mostly due to the long length of the ride.

We ran over to the sky scraper to get a ride in as it didn’t have a line, but they’d cleared the line out of everyone with Ride till Five bracelets, so we didn’t get to ride. Bummer. So instead we made our way over to the other side of the fairgrounds and met up with the family. On the way, I stopped to get a funnel cake for us. Once we met with the rest of the family we had these incredible ribeye steak sandwiches for dinner. Then it was time for everyone to leave.

I actually wanted to stay longer, but my car was parked at the campground and I didn’t feel like leaving it over there, so instead I left too. Plus, most of the animal exhibits and what not were being taken down as this was the last day of the fair.