The Ride of Your Life

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Local game store boasts wide selection, customer care

Lachey loses what's left of him

Typical teen flick fails to 'Stick It'

Spanish cuisine adds spice to Pasadena

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo continue console war

Thespians spin soft news for laughs

Family market place's popularity expected to increase

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La Verne prepares for natural disasters at expo

Dating trends jump on the technological train

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ULV sisterhood embraces new sorority

Seniors' handy work displayed at craft fair

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Pizzeria offers new twist on classic dish

La Verne's citrus history captured at Heritage Park

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Labels and musicians not dying by digital music

Downtown La Verne parking taken by ULV students

Public smoking ordinance unrealistic for La Verne

College Connections exposes students to college campus

Sexual harassment report brings awareness

Sweethearts Dance brings community together

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with increased interest rates

Students offer last minute
gift ideas

Staying alive: Folk music

Morning-after pill accessible
despite FDA delays

Life after college
on seniors' minds

Students on a budget reveal
holiday shopping tips

Arts Colony Latino exhibit
paints beauty of struggle

Faith's Comfort Food survives
with a homemade touch

Old Town shops not afraid
of Wal-Mart shadow

Pomona Public Library shows
literacy is no trivial matter

Prop. 73 revisits abortion laws
for minors

Depeche Mode returns
to explore love and purpose

Rival propositions 78 and 79 battle over medical benefits

Spirits return on
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Obesity weighs heavy in football

Cal Poly Pomona brings in the harvest

Students on forefront of AIDS activism

Grand Avenue Festival brings
diverse entertainment

Youth intervention agency expands local services

Candlelight Pavillion welcomes nostalgic musical 'Forever Plaid'

Anthony Caro exhibit makes Scripps first stop in U.S. tour

Jonathan Reed goes live

Fair lures job-seeking Leos

Concerts close to home

Students try to look good for summer months

Public reaction divided on sex education initiative

Grade inflation a concern among ULV faculty

Fears ease in wake of meningitis case

A money making hobby

Diesel fuel vehicles on the rise

Stem cell research exhibits
incredible potential

Drowsy driving common
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'My Space' captivates
quite an audience

Shari's Subs breaking through on D Street

Clarke waits for opportunity
in NHL

College students victims of credit cards

Gas prices continue to climb

Guitarists have no worries with the Fret House

Huerta remembers the late Cesar Chavez

Ultramarathons prove to be tough tests

Spring break right around the corner

Sports play huge roles in many lives

Measure S passes by narrow margin

Kendrick and Harden fill city council positions

El Saadawi speaks on women's rights

Democratic speakers discuss changes

Cross country remains a staple of Kenyan culture

Military recruiters target ULV

Measure S to maintain public services in La Verne


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The Ride of Your Life
Posted Sept. 25, 2006

At 11 a.m. on Friday the L.A. County Fair awoke – and inhaled. People began to shuffle in and out of animal stalls and booths, some in search of that broom that sweeps up spilled milk in one flick of the wrist, while others looked for a knife that could cut through shoes.

But when the organ of “aerobical” rides began to torch and grease the sky – spinning out of control at lightning speed and then softly back to stillness, the heart of the fair began to pump and the vibrations radiated out through the curdling screams of thrill-seeking fairgoers.

“It’s the rush,” said Barbara Farmer, a fairgoer from Acton. “It’s the experience you’re not going to have in any other way, not…in real life.”

With names like Mega Drop, Kamikaze and Tornado, it’s no wonder that people come from miles around just to take a bite out of the fun.

“It took us about an hour to get here from my house,” said Ann Schroeder, a fairgoer from Burbank.

Although slightly distant from central Los Angeles the fair still manages to attract a wide spectrum of people. School children, bused in from central Los Angeles weaved in and out of carnival games and cotton candy stands awaiting the delayed opening of some of the rides.

“I think the rides should have opened earlier,” Kathy Sori, a fairgoer from Los Angeles said. “The Ferris wheel is closed and my kids wanted to get on it.”

Although the rides are among the main attractions at the fair, they are also among the last attractions to pump into full swing. Many people were puddling around the carnival area on Friday just waiting for certain rides to start. 

“I think if you’re going to pay to get in here and you’re going to pay that much for tickets, they should be open – everything should be open,” Farmer said.

The fair opened at 11 a.m on Saturday and the rides didn’t switch into full swing until about noon. This angered some children and parents who had only until about

1 p.m to take advantage of the fairs wide spectrum of heart-pumping thrill rides, however by noon the entire amusement park was up and running as usual.

Kaleidoscope sensations raced through the blood of people who braved such rides as the Hard Rock and Kamikaze, while parents and looky-loos hovered in the shadows living vicariously through their yelps of joy. Some rides at the fair, like the slide, can accommodate even the most timid of people, but most of these machines thrive on those who can swallow their hesitations and take the ride of their life.

Judging from the large crowds, the most popular ride at the fair was the classic Ferris wheel. Even after all these years people still found solace in the arc of the Grand Wheel. Other rides that were popular didn’t depend on nostalgia to keep the crowds.

 The Mega Drop, a ride that sends you free falling through the air, keeps the lines long with it’s sheer thrill power and with a slogan like “feel the rush,” it’s not surprising that people gravitate in its direction.

The Hard Rock was another ride that attracted curious passersby by just being itself. Long arms spun and twirled to give all who entered a run for the money and all who watched a reason to stay grounded.

Whether someone had a view from the top or glance from the ground, the fair rides this year buzzed and electrified both the risk taker and the onlooker. No one was left alone by the action, but those who chose to participate got a chance to live, if even for a moment, on the wild side.

Katherine Hillier can be reached at