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Fair offers thrills, fun for everyone

LAWRENCEVILLE - From carnival staples like the Giant Wheel and the Tilt-A-Whirl to bumper cars and swings, fair-goers have 46 carnival rides to choose from at the Gwinnett County fair this year. Here's a look at the top four most popular rides in the Midway area and in Kiddieland.

The Midway

1. Crazy Mouse - Riders can hop into a spinning wedge of cheese for this carnival coaster, the most popular ride in the Midway.

"It's like a Tilt-A-Whirl and a roller coaster all rolled into one," said Billy Costagliola, safety director for Amusements of America, which is providing the rides for this year's fair.

Height restriction: 55" minimum height without adult; 45" minimum with adult.

2. Giant Wheel - A staple at any fair or carnival and offering a view of the fairgrounds, the Giant Wheel is likely at the top of most fair-goers' to-ride lists.

Each car on the Giant Wheel seats five riders, making this an excellent choice for families to ride together.

Height restriction: 54" minimum height without adult; no minimum with adult..

3. Fireball - Costagliola said this ride is a favorite for teenagers as it swings back and forth and spins at the same time, a dizzying and intense experience for those seeking a thrill.

Height restriction: 50" minimum height.

4. Rock 'n' Roll - "We call it the music ride 'cause it's got all the music and lights," Costagliola said. Another favorite for teens, riders take a spin in antique-looking cars.

Height restriction: 44" minimum height.

Kiddieland

1. Wacky Worm - Like the Crazy Mouse for older children and adults, this kiddie coaster, which adults can ride, too, is the No. 1 ride in Kiddieland. Riders can hop into the back of a worm to coast around the track and back.

"It's pretty big for a kiddie coaster," Costagliola said. "Kids love it."

Height restriction: 42" minimum height without adult; 36" minimum with adult.

2. Carousel - A staple for any fair or carnival, kids and adults can ride a horse or pony around the carousel.

Height restriction: 42" minimum height without adult; no minimum with adult.

3. Ocean Trip - Searching for treasure on the high seas? Kids and adults can hop into a ship to ride the waves on this attraction.

Height restriction: 42" minimum height without adult; 36" minimum with adult.

4. Flying Elephants - Kids, and even their parents, can fly through the air on the back of an elephant.

Height restriction: 36" minimum height without adult; 30" minimum with adult.

Today, Wednesday and Thursday, fair-goers can ride all the rides for $18 plus the price of admission. Those who bring an empty Coke can ride for $15 plus the price of admission.

SideBar: If you go

What: Gwinnett County Fair

When: Through Sept. 21

Where: Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville

n More information: www.gwinnettcountyfair.com