The annual Thomson Lions Club Fair brought fun to the community during spring break. The Drew Exposition fair ran Tuesday, April 4 through Saturday, April 8, and featured thrilling amusement rides and games.
While the thrills and squeals were common, the reasons people attended the fair varied. Reba Tucker of Norwood brought her four grandchildren.
Emily Greene reaches for a duck during the fair.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
"First time I've been to a fair in at least 10 years. It's a lot the same, but a lot of things aren't here anymore. I remember like horror houses to walk through and stuff like that. I promised my grandkids I'd bring them, or I wouldn't be here," the grandmother said as she waited for her youngest, 8-year-old Stephen, to decide what ride he wanted to spend his tickets on.
Stanley Dwyer, Meghann Dendler, and Caitlin Burnside, all 14, were at the fair Tuesday evening as a farewell to Meghann, who was moving from Thomson to Kentucky the next day. The three friends unanimously agreed the Cyclops was their favorite ride - a ride where the riders are suspended at the bottom of a giant pendulum, which spins and swings back and forth until the pendulum reaches 75 feet in the air. Strobe lights add to the drama. According to Drew Exposition information, the ride is transported on two semi-trailers and takes seven hours to assemble.
"I couldn't hardly stand to watch them on it," said Rebekah Burnside, who is Caitlin's mother.
Ms. Burnside said they have to come to the fair every year because they live in the neighborhood across the street. Caitlin and Meghann also said they enjoyed racing down the Super Slide, which is 90 feet long, according to Drew Expo information.
"Caitlin won, but she cheated," Meghann said, teasing her friend.
Amber Smith, 13, from Dearing, said the Tilt-A-Whirl was her favorite ride. On the Tilt-A-Whirl, riders sit in a spacious tub and whirl around a hilly, circular track.
"I rode it too many times to count. They put me in the fastest car, and they expect me not to scream," she said.
"Oh yeah, she screamed her head off," her friend, Cody Adkins said.
The ride was also a favorite of little Barrett Philips, 7, who said the ride was fun "because I got to do it with my friend."
However, Barrett's friend, Alex Hicks couldn't get his mind off the Cyclops.
"It, like, sucks your stomach up," the 7-year-old said with both hands on his stomach.
Thrills were not limited to the young-of-age, but also caught the young-at-heart. Vera Eve and Bob Hawkins, both of Thomson, said they have been coming to the fair "for years and years." The two liked the Century Wheel, a 60-foot-tall ferris wheel that features gondolas, which they said they "rode over and over."
"I can see everything from up top, it's really pretty. Oh, and I like the food. I like the hot dogs best, but it's all good," Ms. Eve said, as she and Mr. Hawkins enjoyed a funnel cake.
Lions Club Member Robert Warr, who was in charge of the fair, declined to comment on this year's fair.