Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui on my Mind, Part 20

Back outside in the bright Maui sunshine — oops, where did the sun go? Actually, this is the usual sky at this spot in Wailuku — clouds over the West Maui Mountains. Obviously, the clouds do not deter the kids from enjoying the Wave Swinger. It is still fairly early on Saturday (the Fair runs from Thursday evening until Sunday evening) so there are still empty swing seats. Later it will be completely full.

Most of the kids are having a great time as the Wave Swinger flies them around in a circle as well as up and down.

Moments later, as I look toward the ocean, the sky is mostly clear and beautiful. The typical trade winds are blowing off the ocean and when the moisture-laden air encounters the West Maui Mountains, it is forced upwards where it is cooled causing condensation (clouds) and even precipitation. Fortunately, at the Fair, that is far from the minds of the kids enjoying the Pharaoh's Fury.

When I was a kid, we called this type of attraction the Haunted House — E. K. Fernandez Shows calls it the Magic Maze. Inside, mirrors confuse the participants as to where to go, moving floors make them unsteady and dark places hide the "monsters" ready to scare the daylights out of the kids.

Here is a fair favorite everywhere, the Zipper. The rotating arm brings the cages up then down with the cages spinning around. Best to do this before lunch. I can still hear the kids screaming as they spin upside down and well as moving up and down.

Next up is the Zero Gravity — basically a wheel with riders positioned at the perimeter while it spins fast enough that centrifugal force pushes them outward in their padded cells.

You cannot tell with the photo at this size but when I zoom in on the original with all its mega-pixels, I can see clearly that some of the kids are very nonchalant, others thoroughly enjoying it and a few scared out of their minds. And they pay money for this torture?

This photo captures the Rockin' Tug — a bit tamer ride more targeted at the younger kids (although I can see a young dad riding too) while it goes up and down and around in circles.

The Seven Seas looks fairly tame as it moves the kids up and down in a big circle but I still hear the screaming coming from that direction.

It is interesting that a few years ago, E. K. Fernandez Shows went from a cash model to a card model for paying for rides and refreshments. Kids purchase a card loaded with a certain amount of money then pay for the rides with the card. For instance, this ride requires 50 credits which cost $5.00. This model hides the concept of the true cost of a ride or food item.

Two years ago when Johnny came with me to the Fair, I gave him $20 to purchase his card and he ran through it pretty quickly. Surprisingly, he did not want to add more credits but just to use up all that he had left. Smart kid, he won the "Knock the Bottles Down" game on the first try which awarded him a huge stuffed psychedelic gecko.

Of course, all the thrills of the rides will make the kids hungry. If they still have credits, they can buy pizza from E. K. Fernandez or wander over to the food court where local charities sell Hawaiian and mainland Fair food — the later is cash only.

I thought these plastic drink bottles were cute — some were in the shape of lions, some were dinosaurs and some were dogs. I don't know what flavors they offered but I assume various fruit juices.

If you were just looking for a small snack, E. K. Fernandez also offers candy apples, popcorn, candied nuts, cold drinks, and slushies.

And what is a Fair without a Ferris Wheel? George Washington Ferris, a civil engineer from Illinois, invented the Ferris wheel — the first one was built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.¬†And, they have been a fixture at Fairs ever since. Because there were so few people riding, I should have taken a ride myself — I could have gotten some good photos. Now I have another good reason to return to a future Maui County Fair.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com