•  Sue
  • 50.42% (Neutral)
  • Operations Foreman Topic Starter
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 9:14:27 AM

wonder if anyone else thinks that game operators and RCS might not like his rides/games described this way in a trade magazine?:

August 13, 2004
AB See: 112th Orange County Fair

COSTA MESA, Calif. -The Orange County Fair booked ZZ Top to close its 112th edition, a fitting choice. For 35 years, "same three guys, same three chords," is how guitarist Billy F. Gibbons describes his Texas band.

You know what you're going to get with ZZ Top — solid stuff, nothing really unexpected or fancy (and that's just fine), with plenty of grins. Just like the O.C. fair itself.

It's comforting to revisit the old favorites on the midway — trying to knock over the leaden milk cartons, attempting to land a Ping-Pong ball in the tiny glass dish, shooting the overly inflated basketball through the downsized hoop — even though you know your chances of winning that Marvin the Martian plush toy are just about nil. You're being had, but well, that's OK.

But then, the guy hands you a stuffed centipede. Nice.

This year, carnival operator Ray Cammack Shows brought out three new rides for the July 9-Aug. 1 event: a Spinning Coaster, a Cobra Coaster and a Zero Gravity. "Vomit comets" all, AB's festival veteran from Wisconsin calls them. The top rides this time around, according to fair organizers, were the much gentler La Grande Wheel — much more appropriate for those with weak constitutions — and the Sky Ride, which is more to the liking of AB editor James Zoltak. He rides it at every fair he attends, and this year's visit to the OCF was no exception.

The Kite Flyer and Rocking Tugboat rides were big hits in the kiddie carnival, which also featured an indoor slide. And there's a traditional flume ride — the Hydroslide — which isn't very splashy stylistically speaking, but it's sure to cool you down on a hot afternoon.

What's really cool is all the livestock at the fair, rare sightings for city folk. There are llamas, black sheep, guinea pigs, chicks, hairless rats and Jersey woollies, to name just a few. Some exhibits come with educational signs, like, "A female cavy is called a sow. A male cavy is called a boar."

Speaking of cavies, you can visit Iris, a female Yorkshire on display that weighs 460 pounds. She had a litter July 11 right there in the maternity barn; the little ones, sure to be big ones before long, were rolling around nearby. Twenty-three piglets and two lambs were born during the fair.

And for $1, you can see "10,000 hamburgers on the hoof," known as the Giant Steer. He has a place all to himself, weighs 3,450 pounds and stands 6-foot-8. (Does he ever stand? He spends most of the day lying around.)

Kids get a chance to watch goats being milked. The animals come right out of the pen without a nudge, walk briskly around the fence and stick their heads between the pipes, ready to be fed out of a bucket while the hoses do their thing.

The food at the fair is first-rate. Homemade potato chips come out warm, and you can season them with seasoned salt. There are corn dogs, fried Twinkies, fresh lemonade, tri-tip and roasted corn, staples all. Simple pleasures abound, like peeking through the window to watch the guy pour the funnel cakes into the frying pan. Piles and pounds of chicken, onions and green peppers are cooked on grills in huge kettles for foot-wide fajitas, one of which is enough to feed a family of four.

Finding a beer to go with your food isn't as easy as one might imagine. At this family-friendly event, brew is served only in designated areas.

The fair is open until midnight, giving patrons a chance to bookend a concert at the Pacific Amphitheatre with walks around the grounds. Besides ZZ Top, other acts playing the venue were the Go-Go's and the Motels, Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin, Hank Williams, Don Henley, Reba McEntire, Bill Cosby and Carrot Top (you could get into the Carrot Top show on July 17 for $10 or 10 carrots). The sounds and sightlines at the 8,500-seat amphitheatre are excellent, and bathrooms are plenty.

There are also free shows at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, which hosted "Weird Al" Yankovic, the Funk Brothers with Joan Osbourne, demolition derby and motocross.

Admission is $7, with seniors (55 and older) paying $6, kids 6-12 paying $3 and kids under 5 getting in free. Parking is $5, with free parking and a shuttle bus an option. Fifteen ride tickets go for $10. Not a lot of money for a great day out.

Mike Barnes is Executive Editor of Amusement Business. He has livestock at home — five cats and three possum.
Written by: Mike Barnes
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 9:32:59 AM
Good point Sue. I see no reason to be negative like that-if you can't say something good, at least be nuetral. But this is an example of the way a lot of the general population thinks-just not the way the trade magazine that used to care about the business should write.
WestCoastPat-Proud Mark of all things Carnival. STILL a "FAN BOY"-and proud of it.
  •  lotman
  • 56.8% (Neutral)
  • Ride Supervisor
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:40:11 AM
just one more reason for me not to renew my subscription
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
Mark Twain
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
carnival fan
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 12:56:54 PM
I just got my August AB and was quit pleased with all the fair & carnival coverage. Much more than the previous issue. Nice to see Tom Powell still contributing a lot. I personally would rather not have all the other "stuff" in there, but I still enjoyed what I read on fair & carnivals. As far as the story on Orange County Fair, it didn't bother me. There were plenty of very posative things said about the fair & rides. Very nice to see a couple midway shots of RCS. I will continue to read AB.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 3:45:52 PM
Not the way I would expect a writer for a business publication to write an article. Sounds like someone was writing for a local rag newspaper. Then again, this is AB "lite" that we are talking about here..... if they are trying to alienate those in the Amusement Biz, it sounds like they are doing a pretty good job of it......
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
  •  daniel
  • 73.82% (Friendly)
  • Ride Supervisor
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 7:35:15 PM
Well anyshots of me in it[:D] well when i was working i did see ab or some other media but i was told they wore coming to interview them i meen rcs again.Well from what i read was ok untill i got bored.[:I][:p][:D]