Every May is my middle school alma mater’s carnival, the Our Lady of Peace country fair. It lasted four days spanning from May 16 to the 19th this year with rides supplied by Blue Sky Amusements. In the days leading up to the fair I stopped by the parking lot to check out the racked rides and buildup.

I ended up heading over there every day in some capacity to either get photos/video (this usually ended up happening regardless as I have an itchy shutter finger), pick up some zeppolies or simply wander around looking for old classmates who are still involved with the school/church (and fair subsequently.) The fair had a couple less rides this year (Round Up and Berry Go Round namely) as Blue Sky Amusements where doing another spot along with this fair, still there was quite a decent lineup. The fair had…

  • Zipper
  • Himalaya (Wisdom)
  • Scooter
  • Sizzler
  • Starship Gravitron
  • Riptide (ARM Ali Baba)
  • Gondola Wheel
  • Super Slide
  • Chair Jet
  • Carousel
  • Monkey Maze
  • Dragon Wagon
  • A myriad of kiddie rides
  • Games, games and more games
  • Vendors and greasy treats

Warning: This picture is massive!

Zipper had been revamped this season with all new…well everything. Visually it had a new paint job consisting of green supports with a white frame along with orange, purple and green cars along with receiving LED lighting. It’s about as sharp as a Zipper can get, almost too nice to ride…ok now that’s a stretch. The ride not only looked great but also was much less rattly sounding than most other Zippers thanks to the refurbishment.

To the left of Zipper was Chair Jet Swinger, basically just a swing ride. I love the name Chair Jet, not only does it make a placid swing ride sound neat but it also makes one conjure up images of a plastic deck chair outfitted with a massive rocket engine or something equally ridiculous. To the right of Zipper was Himalaya, a smaller Wisdom model. I’ve never been on a Wisdom Himalaya so I can’t say how it is compared to a larger Bertazzon or Mack model. Appearance-wise the ride was flooded with sequenced lighting and was equipped with music, strobes and a horn that was sounded on occasion.

Next up on the midway was Scooter, a small bumper car ride. One night I saw the ride loaded up with adults in their 40s or so getting a kick out of slamming into their kids’ cars. Sizzler, Wisdom’s upgrade to the Eli-Bridge Scrambler, was next door to Scooter. This particular Sizzler spins very fast with the outer sweeps actually revolving faster than the main sweep. While I was lingering around Sizzler during the day on Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting DoD3 regular BSAMike, who was manning the controls that day.

Starship Gravitron, a souped up Wisdom manufactured Starship 2000 was next up. This ride was obtained by BSA last season, replacing their older Gravitron which went to McCafferty Enterprises. Interestingly enough I actually saw BSA’s old Gravitron earlier on Saturday night as McCafferty was playing the UNICO fair at the Livingston Mall. Like Zipper, Starship Gravitron has also hit the apex in carnival ride bling.

Moving on up was Riptide, Β A surf themed ARM Ali Baba ride. A surf theme seems to work much better for this type of ride than the stock flying carpet theme; I don’t know there’s just something bland about ARM’s Ali Baba theme compared to something like Weber’s ‘1001 Nachts’ ride. This ride had a purple and white color scheme with LEDs covering the main sweep, ride platform and back flash; the ride isΒ bright at night.

Two funhouses, one called Monkey Maze and a smaller one named Circus Town sat on the far end of the lot. Monkey Maze was more of an ‘actual’ funhouse with two levels; a mirror maze section was on the bottom with various stunts on top ending with a spiral slide to the bottom. Circus Town was a more open style funhouse with a slide, rope bridge, punching bags, etc.

Rounding out the major rides was the Gondola Wheel which had been outfitted with sequenced LED lighting since the last time I saw it. Now thisΒ is a nice looking wheel, during the day as well as at night. The wheel itself has a light green and white color scheme with yellow, green blue and red gondolas. At night the sequenced LED lights cycle between different patterns as seen in the photos below.

Games at the fair consisted of your typical carnival fare: shoot out the star, pick up the rubber duck, speed pitch, a watergun game, knock over the cans/cats, and chance wheels. One of the attractions that really stood out was a light rifle ‘game’ where people attempt to hit targets that activate a certain stunt. Fun Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ has a similar attraction inside their arcade.

The fair actually got a good week for a change as it never rained once over the duration of the event. Typically this fair seems to be a magnet for slow moving rain events or severe warned squall lines. Such a change must signal that the 2012 predictions are undoubtedly true…or that global warming is at work…or that they just got lucky.

Here’s a boatload of photos.

Finally here’s a video of Zipper.

2 Comments

  • Ahhh Yes! My 1st time Ever to attend this event, Along with my nephew, Christian, and my (our) first “fight” on -Zipper- of This Year in 2012! πŸ™‚ (And I like saying “fight” because I’d like to express myself as a ninja, like the characters from the Awesome Japanese anime, “Naruto”. And when it comes to riding my fave ride at any carnival or huge fair, I always prepare/”train” like a ninja, to give my all to ride and “defeat” the forces and the wildness of the ride coming Saturday nights πŸ™‚ )

    -But before our match against the craziest ride at the fair, When we first got there at around 8:15 PM we went on the Starship Gravitron (only once). Once the entire ride started spinning fast enough to glue us to the wall (lying on our backs), I couldn’t move a muscle, especially when the seats rose up to the roof of the ride)
    -Then it was the Himalaya. Though I wished they could’ve gotten a bigger model like “Musik Express” or made it a bit faster than normal. But it was kind of fun (and it played 2 of my fave songs while we were on it).
    -Next was the Riptide. I’ve never been on anything like it in my life (though it looks kinda slow, and I didn’t want to spend $ for it). But while we were on it, I had the feeling I’ve missed out on such a ride like that πŸ™‚ Once it goes downward to the side, it almost felt like a freefall. But that was quite fun, I’ll admit that πŸ™‚

    —AND FINALLY, (“dramatic music” Dun dun duunnnn!) 2 Rounds on The Craziest, Yet THE BEST RIDE EVER OUT THERE,..

    O>>>>o<<<<O ZIPPER! πŸ˜€

    I may have lost some chances of riding it at other previous fairs since the 1st week of May. (I roughly because I had to cancel on them for some reason). But It Was Worth The Wait (especially in that long line for the ride) I've finally helped my "craving" for it since the "not rough at all Winter season", I was suffering from such withdrawal, lol. It looked very nice, the guys at BSA did an Awesome job of making it more comfortable, enjoyable, Safer, and more beautiful than before. Last time you said it was fairly quiet. And I thought "Aww that sucks". I was thinking they got rid of the "legendary" noise of the motors. But they didn't, yay! I've gotten some offride shots from my phone (while standing in line, and it's an HD cam too). And on one of them. someone's loose change fell out of one of the cars that was flipping. And it was a good thing I carry around my lil "Dr. Dre Beats" bag that I normally store my earphones in. So I can safely store my loose change in it. That was smart of me, you would say lol.
    As me and my nephew got on it for the 1st Round together, I told the operator (And I Always Say This To Them Whoever Locks Me (and someone with me) Inside. "Please Make Sure It's Locked Securely, And Tight" and they do, thank goodness. As they were loading up the last pair of cars on the cycle, we prayed, and braced ourselves for what's to come during the ride. (And again I did not have my phone/camera out to get onride footage on our 1st Round because I had to get used to the nature of the ride first). And as soon as it started, It Was A Knockout. We've been backflipped as much as 7 times in a row before we reached to the other side of the boom.
    And as soon as the ride shifted direction, it made us got held Upside down for about 4 seconds. Wow, Something that I havent experienced on a Zipper last year. But gosh that was incredible! I wished I could've had the nerve to get it on video.

    Then, our 2nd and Final round on it, it got me a bit jealous, as we got inside the Unluckiest Car Of The Ride. Though I managed to get onride footage in this round. I got a bit jealous, As the ride only made us rock Back and Forth, Especially when it swept us from one side of the boom to the other. I was mad like we got "ripped off" lol. But in my "ninja" side, It Was Weak! I wished I had more money to ride it again with my nephew for another 3 rounds. But it was almost time for the fair to close down anyway. We left at 10:30 PM (Half hour before closing) And on the way home, we picked up some "celebratory" Chinese food from my fave Chinese spot in Elizabeth (where we live), as a reward for my nephew's "bravery" on his 1st Ever Ride on Zipper in his whole life. And I thank myself (and Blue Sky) proudly for making it happen.

    My Next "Fight" against -Zipper- will be at the Staten Island Mall Carnival from Reithoffer's BLUE unit. It's their only spot they'll play near me before they head Out Of State. And of course, I'm planning to go 5 Rounds on it, and yes, Onride footage as well πŸ™‚ I hope the weather stays beautiful for This Saturday night, as it will be my 2nd "fight" against it of the 2012 Season. I'll even film some other rides they got there but I'm not sure if I'll be able to go on all of them. But I will try and see, and depends on the money I have for them.

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS, (my nephew would like to say Thanks to u too) And I Look forward to more interesting Trip reports of This Year. And of course, more Zipper rides at more upcoming fairs near me. πŸ™‚

    -Robert "Zipper" lovin' Leaf Ninja aka "Neji Hyuuga" of The Hyuuga Clan
    Academy Student (White belt) ninja πŸ™‚
    P.S. “I Have No Blind Spots” (Neji’s quote from the anime)
    -Practicing my “Gentle Fist”-

  • BSA Mike says:

    Great write up as usual.. thanks Brian!

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