Testing the rides at the Sonoma County Fair
Are you planning to go to the Sonoma County Fair this year? We sent out our interns to do a test run, here is what they did:
After paying the $15 admission price for adults, we took in the scene and wandered around before the rides opened for the day.
We got free ice cream cones from the Clover Stornetta booth, and took a photo with Clo the cow herself (in costume). (For more things that are free click here.)
Ice cream in hand, we hopped on a free horse-drawn wagon ride around the livestock area, where we spotted dairy cows, rabbits, and goats, accompanied by their 4-H handlers. Horses named Bo and Honey, guided by Gary Sello and Wayne Dudley.
The most nausea-inducing part of the day was, of course, riding the fair rides. We chose to buy individual tickets for the rides at $1 a piece, each ride averaging a cost of five tickets, rather than the $30 unlimited ride pass.
The “Windsurfer” is a new addition to the fair this year. We sat on the surfboard, and had a metal sail to guide us that we could control. The ride picks up sharply on one turn, and if we managed to shift the sail properly, we caught a bit of wind. The ride was similar to the swings in motion, but a little more involvement in the ride was an option.
Screams of fear and laughter arose from the cages of the “Zipper” as it went around and around in the air, flipping its occupants upside down multiple times. The cell-like compartments jerked wildly from side to side, forward and back, but those who braved the rickety old ride exited with smiles on their notably paler faces.
"Pole Position Spinning Coaster" is similar to a traditional roller coaster, except for the part where it nearly swings the cart off of a few sharp turns.
The "Flying Bobs" ride feels like getting up early to beat traffic and flying down the highway at 80 mph with the windows down. However, there is no major scare factor, just a slight adrenaline rush from the speed.
The "Century Ferris Wheel," the classic centerpiece of any proper fair, offers a great view of the entire fairgrounds.
"Turbo Force" was a ride we took one look at, and decided against riding. Although some riders claimed it wasn’t too bad, we three interns chickened out and chose to watch people scream instead of screaming on the ride ourselves. The ride involves swinging around at a height of 125 feet in the air.
Other areas we would recommend are the Flower Show, the theme this year is “Seasons of Sonoma,” the Mexican village with the smell of mouth-watering tacos and the adult’s fine arts showcase where you can learn the ins and outs of weaving.
One thing we missed: the free concerts. Be sure to check out the online fair calendar here before going if you don’t want to miss a contest or live show.