Fair Day Dangers


photo of the ferris wheel at the annual Florida state fair taken by Hillsborough high school sophomore, Diego Molnar

The annual Florida State Fair is a huge deal. Hillsborough County schools take the day off and are provided with a free ticket to enjoy the event. We can see why it is such a thrill, with nostalgic food, lively music, and a variety of rides. Aside from the fun, these rides cause worries. Are these transportable rides safe?  

On average, every year about 4 people die from fair ride technicalities, and 3,000 are hospitalized. Although they aren’t the leading cause of death for teenagers, we still need to be aware of the dangers these rides bring. As well as keeping in mind, the fair only lasts for about two weeks at a time. 

The fair rides are supplied by the Wade Show. A company that provides on the road carnival rides for events like the Florida State Fair. One of their newer additions is ride the ride “Spin Out.” A claw shaped ride that spins while also swinging you back and forth. Sure, it seems fun and adrenaline rushing, but of the stories told there is always one common factor. The rapid spinning, claw shaped rides are the cause of many injuries.   

 Sophomore, Bug Moralez, tells us about a young girl who injured her ankle at the fair this year. She was riding the Spin Out and noticed the mirror in front of her detach. It fell onto her ankle and caused it to break. She was later taken to the hospital and treated.  

This is not the only accident on a ride of this type though. This year, Eve Brock was enjoying the ride with her boyfriend’s 9-year-old son. While she was riding the same Spin Out ride, she noticed the center part of the ride that held the decorative lights became loose. She had thrown her feet out in front of her to hopefully block the part of the ride coming towards her and her boyfriend’s son. This accident caused both ankles to suffer sprains.  

Some people were not as fortunate to only suffer a broken bone. Tyler Jarrell was another victim of these claw shaped rides. While he was enjoying the typical fair day with his girlfriend, he decided to go on the Fire Ball for a second round, since the first went perfectly. While raising to 40-feet in the air, the entire claw detached and slammed to the ground. Tyler, along with 7 other people were rushed to the hospital. Sadly, Jarrell did not make it.  

These fair rides can be dangerous, and we must remember the young children who have suffered the consequences of poorly made rides. They are only put up for a few weeks at a time, and then broken down and transported to another fair. 

 We cannot take away all fair rides though. These are a staple in people’s childhoods, and people will not just simply stop riding these rides, but we can limit the amount of danger. These types of claw shaped rides should be shut down forever, or until a safer version is built and tested.