Mid-Michigan residents leery of carnival rides before Cherry Festival incident

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Jarring video from Traverse City last Thursday shows a carnival ride at the National Cherry Festival tipping back and forth.

People at the festival then ran over to the Magic Carpet ride and stood on one end to stabilize it.

Despite the scary scene, no one was hurt in the malfunction and the Cherry Festival went on as planned. But the incident has garnered a lot of attention on social media and the major networks.

For many people in Mid-Michigan, the video doesn’t change their perception of carnival rides. They already tried to stay clear of them due to concerns about safety.

“I thought, well that’s just another reason not to ride them,” said Tanya Roe. “My kids go on them and I always get a little iffy, but I haven’t been on one in years.”

She said the mere fact that rides get set up and taken down numerous times throughout the year that doesn’t jive with her.

“I trust people to do their jobs, but sometimes like I said if someone decides to skip a step or they’re tired,” Roe said.

Arnold’s Amusements owns the ride that malfunctioned at the Cherry Festival. The company also will be at two upcoming Mid-Michigan events -- the Eastern Michigan State Fair in Lapeer County at the end of this month and the Ogemaw County Fair in August.

April Sandberg doesn’t plan to attend either event or ride any of the rides.

“I see them driving down the road and they look a little rickety,” she said.

Sandberg is not exactly a carnival-goer, but she enjoys amusement parks like Michigan’s Adventure or Cedar Point.

“There’s people to check them. There’s regulations followed, and I don’t know what the regulations for the carnivals are,” she said.

The general manager of the Eastern Michigan State Fair said organizers have contracted with Arnold Amusements for 10 years and have never had an issue with any of the rides. The company did not return messages seeking comment on whether the Magic Carpet ride will be at summer events in Mid-Michigan.

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