Porter County Fair's midway boasts old favorites, new challenges

2013-07-21T19:00:00Z 2013-07-22T18:35:10Z Porter County Fair's midway boasts old favorites, new challengesSusan O'Leary Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 21, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Vivienne Nicksic, 5½, was all smiles, her sparkly pink Hello Kitty T-shirt glistening in the sun.

Vivienne was strapped into the kids’ bungee jumping “ride” at the Porter County Fair on Sunday, with her mom, Candice Nicksic, watching.

“She just loves it,” said Nicksic, watching Vivienne jump up and down. “She likes to be dizzy.”

Plenty of folks were out in the midday sun, enjoying the North American Midway rides and games. Hot pink monkeys, polka dot Teddy bears, and red Angry Birds plush toys enticed fairgoers to part with their cash to take home a prize.

Rich Wyatt, North American Midway general manager, said this year’s fair offers 33 rides and 40 games tended by more than 200 employees, most from South Africa and the United States.

“It’s hard to find good quality workers who want to move around all the time like we do,” Wyatt said.

Smiling midway workers strapped kids and adults into old favorites like the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Matterhorn, while the more daring fair visitors stood in line for one of the newest rides, Speed.

Bridgette Nelson stood in the shade and laughed at her husband and son smiling down on her from on top of Speed.

Nelson was happier to be on the ground.

“I don’t do rides that spin around in circles,” said Nelson, of Portage.

Nelson’s son, Taylor Vincent, 17, was impressed with Speed.

“In all the years I’ve been coming to the fair, this is the best ride they’ve ever had,” he said.

Heather Nilson, 17, and Garet Paul, 14, said Speed was so good, it “could be at Great America.”

“It was scary at first but I’d probably do it again,” said Nilson, of Chesterton.

“It’s wonderful,” said Paul, of Valparaiso, who has been on the ride once before. “It scares you each time you ride it.”

Stacie Carr held little Nicholas Carr, 1, as he picked a yellow rubber ducky out of the water at the game Lucky Ducky.

Nicholas won an orange-and-yellow duck to take home.

“This is his first fair,” said Carr, of LaPorte. “He just learned to walk so he wants to walk everywhere.”

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