I can’t beleive the off-season went by so quickly! It feels like it was only yesterday when I was driving back from Six Flags through a treacherous snow storm to bookend the 2011 season. Unfortunately April has been pretty cold around these parts compared to this time in March which saw some 70F to 80F degree temperatures!

This particular fair I’ve known about for several years now but never actually knew the name, opting to simply call it the “Middlesex NJ Fair” instead. Now I know it’s the Middlesex Fire Department Carnival, undoubtedly held to benefit the fire departments of Middlesex, NJ. The fair started on April 24th and I attended on the Saturday the 28th, the final day of the fair. The fair had a moderate crowd that night, it was in the low 50s so that might have kept some away. The rides were provided by Campy’s Blue Star Amusements and the fair had…

  • Scat
  • Gravitron
  • Scrambler
  • Octopus


  • Tilt-a-Whirl
  • Scooter
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Super Slide
  • Merry-go-Round
  • Berry-go-Round
  • Several kiddie rides
  • A selection of games
  • A handful of food stands

UFO that landed at the fair

I arrived at around 7:30pm and did a once over of the carnival. They had a pretty good selection of games and like five food joints, each serving a different selection of items (including the Oriental BBQ stand; if you ever see this get the kebab, it’s awesome.) I then walked to the ride area to get some photos starting with Gravitron. It’s a pretty nice looking original Gravitron model that could easily stand up against newer Starship 2000 models. One of the ride ops came over to ask if I got the shot with the lights blurred (ie. long exposure shot) and I showed him that I indeed did. Although I should really start bringing my tripod along to these smaller fairs (where I typically don’t ride the rides) to get some proper long exposure shots as some came out blurry (in a bad way.)

Neat signage

Scooter was your standard portable Majestic manufactured Scooter ride. Scrambler was a Big Eli version and has some pretty snazzy lighting, although one side of the center ornament was out. The ride itself was fairly fast and the cycle a good two minutes or so. Tilt-a-Whirl looked like it had some new paint and decals but it’s hard to tell in my pictures because I find Tilts to be amazingly tough to photograph. Speaking of tough rides to photograph, Octopus took up a spot closest to the street. It had a black color scheme with green and yellow lights and a center sphere ornament. I didn’t get any good pictures of this because at night, with my non-DSLR camera, all I get is either lights with blackness or the ride with horribly blown out lighting. Now if it was showered in floodlights, I could have gotten a nice shot!

Scat, actually a High-Lite Rides manufactured Scat 2 model, rounded out the major rides at the fair. I’ve seen this particular one around for a while now with its blue and white color scheme and intact ornamental sweeps on top of the platforms; it’s probably the nicest Scat type ride I’ve seen in person. The first cycle I saw was terribly short but subsequent cycles had the ride do two consecutive cycles with a slowdown in between. I noticed that the main sweep on this Scat spun pretty fast compared to others I’ve seen, that combined with the speed of the platforms must have been pretty wild.

I hung around until 8:30pm or so before heading out, but not before grabbing a bag of zeppolies.

Finally, here’s a video of Scat!

Wait, wrong video…here’s the right video!

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