Minnesota State Fair Zipper
I’ve been going to the Minnesota State fair since I was a kid. My brother and I would walk to the booth and create sand art while my parents would sip Honey Weiss from their favorite table at the Frontier Bar. We would come back to the table greeted with our favorites; foot long hot dogs loaded with toppings, sugar coated Tiny Tim’s mini doughnuts, and hot, salty french fries. So many fond memories, so many great calories.
My husband and I now have our own fair traditions like racing down the big yellow slide (whoever loses has to buy the next round) but sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve been with my entire family at the fair. Since I’m feeling nostalgic, I thought I would share one of my craziest fair memories, which happened on a little ride you may know as the Zipper.
I may have been around 8 years old, sorry I can’t remember the exact age, but what I can remember is that I was standing as tall as I could. I was exactly 48 inches, just tall enough to ride. I had been watching the Zipper since I had laid eyes on it. The people sized cages went around the oblong oval shaped “zipper” spinning in circles. The zipper then moves in a circle as well, rocking the cages back, forth and upside down. It looked exciting, it looked scary, and I wanted nothing more than to get on.
The nice man opened the door to the seat like shaped cage. I got in first, then my dad. The cage door closed, and I put on my seat belt. A small bar came down and my dad instructed me to hold on tight. They load the zipper a ferris wheel- one cage a time until they are full before starting the ride. At first, it was really fun. I felt grown up, adult, and couldn’t wait. Well, once the ride started, my experience drastically changed.
I was terrified! I couldn’t scream, I was too scared. The seat belt wasn’t holding me in, so I was gripping onto the padded bar for dear life. After the first few minutes, I couldn’t hold on. I had let go of the bar and my body slipped out of my seat belt. My back was now glued w to the top of the cage, gravity was keeping me there. My dad was holding onto me now, shocked, confused, and I’m guessing scared. The ride kept moving and I was on it without a seatbelt, moving around the cage. My dad finally grabbed ahold and held me against the cage until the ride slowed down, then pulled me back into my seatbelt.
The cage door opened, and I came out white. Longest minutes of my life. That was not what I had expected. I was afraid of that right and vowed to never ride it again.
My dad and I laugh about this now, but at the time it was pretty scary. We decided to try it again, so twenty years later, we went back on the Zipper together. We both screamed like little girls, but thankfully, I was large enough to not slip outside of my seatbelt.
I have many more great stories from the fair, maybe I’ll share another before it ends. Hope you and your family get to create some fun memories there this year.