St. Matthias Carnival 2008

Where: Somerset, NJ
When: 5/16/08
Ride Operator: Amusements of America

Come April, I started Googling fairs happening in NJ. I’d use all kinds of different search terms and I actually scored quite a few finds. That’s how I stumbled upon the St. Matthias Parish carnival. Unlike most church carnivals, this particular one actually had its own webpage complete with a video promo of the fair. How could I not check it out now?

The drive to this fair was a bit annoying as I underestimated the drive to Somerset, NJ. I mean, Google Maps did say that it would take 45 minutes, but come on, it’s only Somerset! I had to take Rt. 22, an annoying highway in itself, and then a bunch of back roads. It took about 45 minutes to get to the fair…

I honestly didn’t expect too much at a church carnival, maybe a Zipper or something else like that, but I was pleasantly surprised. The fair lineup was as follows…

    • Fireball (KMG)

  • Sea Ray
  • Musik Express
  • Trapeze (a Yo-Yo)
  • Gravitron
  • Tilt-a-Whirl
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Fun Slide
  • Dizzy Dragon
  • At least two fun houses
  • A myriad of kiddie rides
  • Lots of carnie games
  • A bunch of greasy treats stands

First off, this fair was located in a field and it had rained the day before and the day of; it was so, so muddy. I saw some kid wearing sandals and the fronts of his socks were caked with mud; man that just sucks. Obviously the Fireball was the ‘big’ ride at this fair. Actually, the Fireball is the big ride at most big fairs! I was very tempted to ride it but I didn’t have a closing pocket to keep my camera, keys and wallet in. I’ll never forget on one Fireball ride when my wallet flew out of my back pocket and flailed around being held on by the wallet chain that I used to sport.

The Musik Express was a smaller version that I’ve seen at the Meadowlands Fair a couple of years back. The Sea Ray was a standard one trailer swinging ship ride; although a bit different looking from the normal ‘stock’ Sea Rays; maybe it was Mulligan’s deluxo version of the Sea Ray. Trapeze, a Chance Yo-Yo, was in nice condition and even had a working tilting mechanism. It was probably the nicest looking Yo-Yo I’ve ever seen; a phrase I never thought I’d utter. All of the other rides were just gravy. They actually had this weird little kiddie ride called ‘Windjammer’ that was basically seats attached to arms that could go up and down.

I walked around the concession area, trying to find zeppolies, but I couldn’t find any! What’s up with that? Isn’t it physically impossible to have a fair without those greasy, sugary treats? I haven’t ruled out simply missing the zeppole stand however. The games area consisted of the usual ‘chance wheel’ games, knock the cans off the pedestal game, shoot out the star, and other games that have a low chance of winning.

I stayed at the fair for about an hour before heading back home on a different route; I did not want to take all those back roads or Route 22 again!

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