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Grounded: Western Fair Sky Ride gets dismantled

The Sky Ride being dismantled at the Western Fair District, on April 26, 2017.
The Sky Ride being dismantled at the Western Fair District, on April 26, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980

For around 10 years, it was fixture at the Western Fair.

Now, the Sky Ride lies in dismantled piles of metal in the casino parking lot, waiting for its third-party owner to sell it to to another fair, amusement park, or ski hill.

“It’s been a good ride,” said Mike Woods, chief operating officer of the Western Fair Association.

“But really what we [had was] a ride that’s anchored in the middle of the grounds for 365 days of the year, and it’s really only used for about 10 days of the year,” he explained. “It’s just not providing the flexibility we need in our site.”
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017.
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017.
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017.
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017.
Sky Ride at the Western Fair District being dismantled on April 26, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980

When the Sky Ride came to the Western Fair around 10 years ago, Woods said the association worked with several midway operators who would bring in different attractions. But in recent years, they’ve moved towards a single partnership with North American Midway.

“As we look to expand and grow, and bring new ridership and new rides to the site — we decided to commit to one organization… they primarily have brought a whole new selection of rides in.”

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Crews were working to take the structure down on Wednesday afternoon. Parts of the two towers — one near the front doors of the casino, and the other near the gates off of Rectory Street — were lying on flatbed trailers. The wheels of the pulley system and the chords that strung patrons along, disassembled and resting on the ground.

Workers said the job would continue Thursday.

“Taking it up and taking it down is… a significant task,” said Woods.

He pointed out that North American Midway has provided the fair with 50 rides, and will be introducing new rides for the 2017 midway lineup.

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