Gone is James E. Strates. Wade Shows is the new midway man in town. We wish them luck at the Great New York State Fair. And we hope to finally see some rides that truly reflect Central New York.
A few suggestions:
Gastro-Intestunnel — This ride will cost you . . . upwards of $2 billion. But for the ultimate stomach-turning experience, it’s worth it. Riders board cars that swoop them under the city of Syracuse straight to Destiny USA where they’re deposited in a vast canyon of overpriced chain restaurants rocked by unsatisfactory health inspections. Your mission: Find your way out of Crampy Canyon in time to make it to the Lazy River Lavatory.
Toxic Damphitheater — The midway cries for a ride inspired by plans by actual humans who do not suffer from mental impairments to transform a Superfund site into a family-friendly entertainment mecca. Wear a swimsuit or quick-dry clothes as you rock out to a Styx tribute band and get rocked by man-made waves of Onondaga Lake water laced with benzine and toluene. You know it’s party time when the EPA says the risk of cancer is “acceptable.”
Clark’s Dark House — You get in line for the grand re-opening of a beloved local eatery that specializes in roast beef and beer. What happens next will leave you and your fellow riders disoriented and near panic. There’s no beer. No roast beef. Not even turkey. Only darkness. “Opening soon!” a recorded voice announces every 10 minutes. “Please be patient.” From the light of your cell phone, you think you spot a big juicy Clark’s roast beef sandwich, but on closer inspection you’re wrong. It’s that disgusting state fair video of a calf being born! Ick. Still hungry?
Kilt-A-Whirl — The Central New York Scottish Games and Celtic Festival inspires this spinning, upside-down thrill ride featuring men in kilts. No, ma’am. That’s not a corn-dog.
Fitz Flip — You go up and up, leaving the fairgrounds in your anti-corruption pod and soaring high above the magical Kingdom of Morelandia. Suddenly you smash into an invisible wall.
“Are you enjoying Morlandia?” a creepy voice that is definitely not Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inquires over the P.A. system.
“No,” you scream, causing the patented Cuomotion free-fall technology to activate. “I mean yes. Whatever you want me to say!”
Now you’re dangling upside down. Stuck. Will United States Attorney in Manhattan Preet (“Yes, that’s my real name”) Bharara get you down safely and close this dangerous, unpermitted ride? Or will you and your anti-corruption pod crash land in the dollar potato bar?
Carousel — An interminable green slide into oblivion. Strap yourself in and swoosh down a gauntlet of bully tactics, litigation, broken promises, public financing and . . . oh, just forget it.
Tunnel of Guv — What better way for a besotted county executive and an embroiled governor to snatch a few minutes of privacy, despite their rival political affiliations? Uh-oh. Who’s that in the seat behind them dumping snow cone juice down their backs. Leave them alone, United States Attorney in Manhattan Preet (Seriously? Preet?) Bharara!
The Matterheim — You’re a member of the local media. The Orange just lost by 20 points in a pre-season exhibition to all-women’s Wellesley College. Your mission: To ask a 40-foot-tall Coach Boeheim hologram: “At any point did you consider switching out of the zone and playing man-to-man?” This 3-D attraction features 80 mph blasts of sarcasm and skull-pounding ads for Jreck subs and Upstate Medical University. If you feel faint, close your eyes.
Harris Teall — Ferris Wheels are boring. But Harris Avenue to Teal Avenue at rush hour during road construction season? That’s insane! Use your bumper-style Fuccillomobile to force other drivers into potholes and oncoming traffic. Texting strongly encouraged.
Otto-Tron — Syracuse University was just named No.1 Party School in America by the Princeton Review. Congrats, President Syverud. In this SU-endorsed ride, up to 30 college kids from privileged backgrounds do body shots inside a jolly orange sphere as it rolls across the fairgrounds. The last young scholar to hurl wins an Eric Devendorf plush toy.