SEMO District Fair has some new rides for children

Sunday, September 15, 2002

There were a few new children's rides to choose from at the SEMO District Fair this year. New additions to the midway included the Circus Train, the Dizzy Dragons and a replica of The Mystery Machine from "Scooby-Doo."

"It seems like there is a couple more rides that appeal to kids 5 and under," said James Kerber of Cape Girardeau on Saturday, the last day of the fair. "And it seems like they are letting them ride a little longer than they used to."

Astro Amusement Co. supplied the amusement rides for the fair again this summer. According to Astro Amusements manager Tom Thebault, the company tries to buy at least one new ride every year. Their biggest purchase in 2002 was the Mega Drop, a free-fall drop ride for older kids and adults.

Some of the rides used by Astro Amusements are built in America, but many are imported, mostly from Italy.

"I think overall the response is up from last year. The weather has been pretty cooperative," Thebault said. "But then, last year, I'm sure 9-11 put a dent in fair receipts."

The new rides may be back again next year, Thebault said, although he doesn't know for certain. The company rotates their equipment between locations and tries to mix them up as much as possible so that the same people don't see the same rides every year.

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