New thrills offered at this year’s fair carnival

By Amanda Wurtz

Higher, faster, wilder. That’s the name of the game for thrill seekers who will meet their match with the Murphy Brothers Carnival at the Red River Valley Fair, July 9-14.

Thrill seekers will get their adrenaline rush with new rides to the fairgrounds such as the Wave Swinger. As the ride turns, the seats swing outward. The spectacular swing features a dazzling light show and exquisite European scenery, according to Murphy Brothers Exposition.

“Murphy Brothers offers extreme rides that are bigger than the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Shocker,” said Bryan Schulz, general manager of the Red River Valley Fair Association. “The extreme rides attract teens and adults who may not otherwise be enthralled with the carnival offerings,” said Bryan Schulz, general manager of the Red River Valley Fair Association.

The best combination of rides and great deals will be offered with the Murphy Brothers’ Mega Pass. “The Mega Pass is essentially an all-access pass where cardholders have gate admission and the cost of all carnival rides and grandstand entertainment paid for,” said Schulz.

The Mega Pass is currently $60, which is a significant discount and especially meaningful for families. “If you have four kids coming out and paying $30 a day for a one-day carnival pass – plus gate admission – and you come twice, that can get pretty expensive,” said Jodi Buresh, assistant general manager of the Red River Valley Fair. “That’s why the mega pass is cost effective.”

Murphy Brothers Exposition will outfit the fairgrounds with a lineup of 45 mechanical rides including 10 new attractions, such as the Wave Swinger and the Wacky Worm Coaster, according to Cathy Murphy, operations manager of Murphy Brothers Exposition. “The midway will be completely filled up,” she said.

From the Himalaya, which simulates the rough terrain of the Himalayan mountains to the Double Shock which flips and turns with two large cars (fitting 40 each) on the opposite side of each other, riders are sure to be kept busy for an afternoon or an entire day (as long as they have time) and keep them wanting to come back for more.

More than the twists, and spins of the extreme and spectacular rides, the carnival line-up will mean “safe, family fun” for people of all ages, said Jerry Murphy, CEO of Murphy Brothers Exposition. “A lot of people love the Ferris Wheel and the Tilt-A-Wheel,” he said.

Photos Courtesy of Murphy Brothers Exposition
Get your place in line to spin on the fair classic, the Zipper!

There is also a fondness for the fair staple of the Zipper. Two people fit into each cage which rotates on an axis and around the main boom. “There is always a line at that one,” said Cathy Murphy. “It’s a long-time favorite.”

For the young ones, a beautiful new four-horse wide Grand Carousel is a must ride. “It is a real show stopper and the biggest traveling carousel right now,” said Cathy Murphy.

To get the best mechanical ride line-up for the Red River Valley area, the attractions will be driven in from portions of North Dakota and even as far south as Texas. “For a county fair, the Red River Valley Fair has state fair quality,” said Jerry Murphy.

Cathy Murphy added, “Through what they offer for all-around entertainment and education activities for fair-goers, the fair management knows how to get people into the gate with what they offer. It takes team work to make the fair successful on all avenues.”

The Grand Carousel will make its presence for the first time at the Red River Valley Fair. The four-horse wide carousel is a “show stopper” and one of several new kiddie rides according to Cathy Murphy of Murphy Brothers Exposition.

To cap off the carnival ride fun, fair-goers can also get competitive with others as they aim to pop a balloon with the water shooters, drop baskets in the hoops or one of the dozens of others on the grounds.

While the fair is still about seven weeks away, be sure to snatch up your Mega Pass now for the best value. Jerry Schatzke, of Fargo, knows firsthand what it can mean for a teenager to have one of these cards. He purchased one for his 16-year-old son, Michael. “He likes to go to the fair, hang out with friends and go on the rides,” said Schatzke. “It’s really convenient because he is all set to go on any day of the fair and isn’t coming back to me for more money.”

The Mega Pass can be purchased at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, local Stop N Go stores or online at the fair website, Mega Passes must be purchased for each person who would like to use them and are non-transferrable. The

Photo by Amanda Wurtz
The fairgrounds will be filled with squeals of delight and adventure from children and adults at this year’s carnival.

Mega Pass owner will have their photo on the card and it will be scanned each time that the pass holder attends the fair. Upon entering the gate, the Mega Pass owner will receive a wristband for the rides. The Mega Pass voucher can be redeemed for a picture ID card at the Fair Office June 24th to July 8th(closed July, 4, 5, 6, 7) 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. and can also be taken during the fair week on the fairgrounds.

The carnival and midway will operate 1 p.m. to close on weekdays, July 9-11 and 12 p.m. to close on weekends, July 12-14. To find out more information on the 2013 fair activities, check out the website at to obtain or full schedule, or call the Fair office at 701-282-2200. Or, like the Red River Valley Fair Association’s Facebook page at


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About Amanda Wurtz

Amanda is a freelance blog writer for the Red River Valley Fair Association. Her appreciation of the fair was developed while she covered the association for four years as journalist for the Cass County Reporter. Today, she works as a Customer Service Representative for The CE Shop in Fargo. She makes her home in West Fargo with husband Christopher and their orange tabby cat, Simba.