Twirling, swirling, stomach-turning, adrenaline-packed rides are one of the main attractions at any fair. And that’s no exception at the Interior Provincial Exhibition.
The Armstrong fair boasts dozens of rides for all levels of thrill-seekers, from the traditional carousel and ferris wheel to kiddie attractions and daredevil delights such as the zipper and scrambler.
West Coast Amusements has been bringing these, plus all the games and some added treats and eats, to the IPE for years.
Anyone who has hopped on one of the rides and been greeted by one of the smiling staff members knows that West Coast is setting the bar for some of the best entertainment providers.
It’s operators like Kelly Hogan who make every rider feel extra special.
Hogan is primarily stationed at Bulgy the Whale (known more so as the “fish” ride) in the kiddie zone.
Not only does she wear an infectious smile all day, but Hogan goes above and beyond to ensure the little riders leave smiling.
“I love kids,” said the Richmond resident, who doesn’t have any grandkids, “yet.”
Not only do her special riders get to enjoy the thrill of feeling like they are jumping out of the ocean on the whales, but Hogan can routinely be seen handing out high-fives to the kids as they make the rounds on the ride.
“By the end of the day my hand doesn’t feel the same,” laughs Hogan, enjoying her first year with West Coast which has taken her from Prince Albert to Armstrong and everywhere in between.
Like Hogan, there’s another fair attraction who also ensures kids of all ages are beaming a bright smile.
Uncle Chris the Clown, who has been coming to the fair for two years now, is a highlight in Kids World.
Whether he’s cracking jokes on the stage or magically twisting balloons into little creatures or swords and armour, kids of all ages love the humourous clown.
“This year I just snuck in the fence they didn’t really even know I was coming,” joked Uncle Chris.
The Kamloops clown has been to a lot of fairs, but the IPE is one of the biggest he’s attended.
“This one is pretty cool, this one has the coolest people.”
The IPE wraps up today, with the exhibit halls open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the midway opens at 11 a.m. The final rodeo goes at 8 p.m.
For more photos and videos from the fair visit www.vernonmorningstar.com