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Ionia Free Fair providing rides despite Cherry Fest scare

(Ionia Free Fair)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s the video that makes carnival riders cringe; The Magic Carpet ride at the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, tipping back and forth, violently out of control.

The company that owns the ride has now set up shop at the Ionia Free Fair. But the people in charge say that ride did not make the trip.

Exotic animals, fun houses and deep-fried foods are a big draw for carnival goers at the fair, but it’s the thrill rides which keep people coming back year after year.

Arnold Amusements is the company that owns the Magic Carpet ride which almost toppled over last week. When Ionia Free Fair spokesperson Raul Alvarez saw the video of the ride at the Cherry Festival he immediately called Arnold Amusements.

Alvarez said, “Immediately after we saw that video we contacted Arnolds. They assured us of a number of things: One-- the ride was immediately dismantled and sent back to the manufacturer for an investigation and an inspection. Two-- they are compliant with all state inspections as required by law.”

Maxwell Bunshaft and his family come every year from Alameda California. Even after watching the terrifying video of the Magic Carpet ride in Traverse City almost collapsing they still braved the attractions.

Bunshaft says carnivals are must-do summer activities.

“It’s Americana,” Bunshaft said. “We’ve been doing this for decades and hundreds of years. It’s what we do.”

According to Alvarez, this festival and Arnold Amusements have a relationship which spans 40 years.

“They treat us well, they treat our festival goers well,” Alverez said. “We’ve developed a really important trust. We knew when that happened and they assured us of what they were doing and they were compliant with all inspections. We were excited to have them back.”

The Ionia Free Fair runs through July 24.

A full list of events is AVAILABLE HERE.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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