Teenager’s guide for fun at this year’s county fair
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By Kelli Davis  July 25, 2014 12:00 am

Sonoma County’s annual fair is beginning just in time to wrap up the summer months and provide a final opportunity for all people in our county to celebrate the most beautiful season of the year. This year’s fair began yesterday, July 24, and will last until Aug. 10, so everybody should have plenty of time to visit the festivities at their leisure.

The fair has always been something many people from the county look forward to during the summer, and it’s very clear as to why. The numerous carnival rides provide a relatively cheap thrill for people of all ages. 

The fair is one of the best places in the county during this time to spend time with friends and family, just having fun and not worrying about anything in the future. 

Due to the diversity of the activities at the fair, there will be entertainment to be had for all. 

If the more high-intensity rides are not to someone’s taste, then there is an abundance of other things to do at the fair that hardly have anything to do with the carnival at all. Undoubtedly, there is something for everyone here, and it is almost impossible to be bored. 

Considering the Sonoma County Fair is one that has to be brought in and set up, it is impressive that there is such a wide variety of the “adult” rides. Probably the most terrifying of them all is the Zipper, which has a height restriction for riders of 54 inches and does not allow single riders. What makes this one stand out is the fact that it spins every cage separately from each other while going in an elliptical motion at high speeds. This ride affects everyone differently, but a good majority of the people who come off of it cannot wait to get back on. 

Another of the rides that should not be passed up is the Tornado, a heart-pounding thrill that doubly spins. Depending on whoever is in the same cage as you, this can be one of the best rides in the entire park. The main structure spins very quickly while the people in the cage (there can be up to four in one) work together to turn the wheel as hard as possible to spin the cage. 

Tornado is an accurate name for this ride, as the air rushes around you while you spin so much that the people waiting around you become nothing more than blurs. 

One of the best things about this ride is the rider can control the amount of spinning and the pace, so that you can get off of it without feeling sick or too dizzy. 

Despite the name, Pharoah’s Fury has little to do with Egyptian kings and queens, and everything to do with pure fun. The ride is a very simple concept, and when standing on the sidelines it seems like it could be underwhelming. Stepping into the ride completely changes that opinion for most, as it moves at higher speeds than you would expect, and goes up a lot higher than it appears to. 

People on both sides of the “boat” have a great time when the boat gains momentum and swings as far in one direction as it can. 

The feeling of being nearly parallel to the ground at the ride’s peak is completely worth waiting in whatever line there is for Pharoah’s Fury.

Of course, if the high-intensity rides aren’t your style, there are loads of very fun activities all around the fair. 

One in particular that comes to mind is the House of Mirrors, in which it is impossible to not collide with at least one mirror in there. 

The fun thing about it is no matter how many times you’ve walked through it, the mirrors keep you guessing where to go next.

 If you want a little quiet in the midst of the park, it is a very short walk to where the animals, exhibits and games are. Usually, the park is the quietest around the animals that are in pens, so if you feel like getting away from the noise you can go see either the cows or some of the more exotic animals that are sure to be there. 

Before you leave the park, it is important to fuel your activities with food, and there are many food stalls that sell delicious and healthy options. If you are in the mood for snacks instead of a meal, there are a number of vendors that sell cotton candy and popcorn. Snow cones are readily available in whatever flavors can come to mind, and if it is really hot on any of the days the fair is open, then the perfect snack is there to cool you down. 

Carnivals and fairs are events put on to make people happy. When they come to town, everybody wants to be involved with it, some people going about it in different ways. Some locals enter contests to be won, some perform on stage to make the fair that much better with their music, and some just go to enjoy the rides with their friends and family members. No matter what category you fall into, these festivals are meant to be enjoyed by everyone. 

They inspire a sense of community and friendship within us, and this year’s fair is going to be just as much fun as its predecessors have been.  

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