What’s 80-feet tall and double the fun of a Ferris wheel? A double Ferris wheel, of course, and the Erie County Fair has one.
The towering Sky Wheel is one of the most talked-about "new" attractions to check out at the 180th Erie County Fair, held from Aug. 7 to 18 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.
OK, Sky Wheel isn't quite new since it debuted at the Fair in 1963 where it was a featured attraction until 1994. But since its retirement by the Strates Shows, it has remained a favorite of Fair fans who have wanted it back.
“The double Ferris wheel is one of the most requested bygone attractions that fairgoers continually ask us to bring back,” said Marty Biniasz, Erie County Fair marketing manager. “Not only is this rare ride an icon of the Strates Shows midway, it also has a deep Buffalo-Niagara connection as the Sky Wheel ride was once manufactured by the Allan Herschell Co.”
The Sky Wheel seats 32 people in 16 seats. Riders will experience a sensation of “rapid acceleration being propelled into the sky and then the feeling of a free fall as the wheels rotate downward,” Biniasz said. "Although there have been faster, taller and more modern rides over the decades, the Adrenalin rush you get from the Sky Wheel is in a class of its own.”
This fully restored version of the ride is one of only five operating Sky Wheels in North America.
Here’s a quick look at five more new entertainment options at the Fair.
Camel Kingdom: Who doesn't love camels? This interactive exhibit will get visitors up close to snow white and spotted Dromedary (one hump) camels. Times: 2:30, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. daily in Kiddieland.
Mango and Dango - Adventures of the Flying Umbrella Ship. The theatrical circus duo of Mango and Dango will perform such acrobatics as stilt walking, chair stacking and aerial comedy. Times: 12:30, 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Flippenout Extreme Trampoline. This isn’t your backyard trampoline. Top athletes will do acrobatic routines, triple flips and more at heights of 25 feet or higher along with cirque-style action off of the only transparent wall in the world used in these fast set-up trampoline shows. Times: 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. daily outside Showplace.
DNA Mind Readers. Andrew and Darren, finalists on “Britain’s Got Talent 2017,” will display their telepathic abilities. Times: 2 and 9 p.m. Aug. 7, 8, 10-12 and 3:30 and 9 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.
Twinkle Time. Twinkle will entertain youngsters with her colorful and high-energy pop concert where kids can learn from her bilingual pop tunes. Times: 1, 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 7, 8, 10-18 and 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.
• Rundown of the fair in its 180th year
• Hours, admission and how to get discounts
• Photos: Erie County Fair - then and now
• Must-dos for first timers at the Erie County Fair
• New foods at the Erie County Fair
• The Gusto Grandstand lineup