Where we currently live in Ohio is dubbed the showcase for the largest county fair in the world. (My wife is from this area and remembers hearing that back in the day.) Whether it still is or not may be up for debate, but it certainly is large, bringing in over 250,000 people from all over the U.S. to our county every August.
As great as “The Great Darke County Fair” is, though, I have noticed that the county fairs around here lack something that I always saw at the fairs I attended while growing up in Michigan: Double Ferris Wheels!
You may even be asking, “What in tarnation is a double ferris wheel? Somethin’ whats gots a wheel next ta the otherun and everone slaps hands with the people in the other wheel as they pass by?”
Nope. A double ferris wheel was usually two decent-sized ferris wheels stacked vertically–one on top of the other one–each one spinning independently of the other one (maybe even in opposite directions) and both joined together by a main support that also spun at the center. So, while the ferris wheels are spinning on their own, the whole contraption is also spinning–all at a decent pace, which made for a very pleasant time.
As you can see from the picture above, you’ve got quite a view from the top! Half the fun of riding a double ferris wheel is being in the top wheel while the bottom one is being unloaded and loaded again. Then, when the whole ride is going, usually at some point your cart is passing the very bottom of the turn of your wheel at the same time that the whole ride has you at the very bottom of the ride. Within a matter of seconds your wheel turns you to the top of the wheel while the whole ride is also bringing your wheel to the top of the ride. If it lasts long enough, the same thing happens from the top of the ride to the bottom of it. Check this out:
As you can imagine, any video of a fair ride doesn’t do it justice, but this gives you a slight idea of what it was like. (The ferris wheel that this video was taken in was made in 1960, which might explain why they aren’t seen much anymore.) That ride from the bottom-to-top or top-to-bottom I was describing would make your stomach do some gymnastics for sure!
Yessir, double ferris wheels made my time at the county fair something to remember…