Fall Festival 2018: Classic carnival rides evoke nostalgia


The Zionsville Fall Festival is now in its 65th year. For some Zionsville residents, the annual event marks the start of fall and the beginning of a new school year. The sight of tents rising and workers putting together rides in the large fields at Lions Park can only mean one thing – Fall Festival will be here soon.

Annie, Lizzie, Billy and Thomas Busse have grown up in Zionsville and attended the Fall Festival since they were small children. The siblings are 15-year-old triplets. Thomas, their younger brother, is 13.

They each have different ride preferences all look forward to the return of their favorite rides each year.

Fall Festival Favorites

Annie: The Zipper

“I’ve been going on it since I was little and it’s always so much fun,” Annie said.

The Zipper features strong vertical G-forces, numerous spins and a sense of unpredictability. It was invented by Joseph Brown at Chance Rides in 1968.

Source: “Amusement Today”

Billy: The Gravitron

“Everyone loves the scrambler, but I love the Gravitron. It’s fun and you experience something you don’t always get to do,” Billy said.

The Gravitron is a ride in which riders lay back on slanted, padded panels. The ride uses centrifugal force to move the rider off the ground. The ride can reach a maximum speed of 24 rpm in less than 20 seconds.

Source: “Amusement Parks of New Jersey”

Lizzie: The Zipper

“I like the Zipper because it flips a lot and that’s always fun. You always hear people screaming,” Lizzie said.

Original models of the Zipper were much rougher than the Zippers of today. In 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the ride due to a faulty door lock system, which has since been restructured.

Source: “Popular Mechanics”

Tommy: The Scrambler

“My favorite Fall Festival ride is the scrambler. It’s fun and goes super fast,” Tommy said.

The Scrambler also uses centrifugal force. Riders sit in small carriages which are suspended by beams. The clustered vehicles spin in one direction, while the ride as a whole spins in the opposite direction.

Source: “Fairground Archive”

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