Merrimack Valley Life

THRILLS & CHILLS!

Mall’s spring carnival is among first in New England in 2 years


The LaRoche family of Salem didn’t mind the occasional sprinkle. They dressed warmly to stay comfortable for an extended visit at the spring carnival. Salem Life photos by Allison Colby-Campbell

The LaRoche family of Salem didn’t mind the occasional sprinkle. They dressed warmly to stay comfortable for an extended visit at the spring carnival. Salem Life photos by Allison Colby-Campbell

The Mall at Rockingham Park recently transformed part of its parking lot into a fun zone filled with a, 85-foot-tall Ferris wheel, a deep-fried Sweets Booth, and a return to folks getting together for a great time!

Fiesta Shows General Manager Chris Chagros says his company is grateful to New Hampshire, the first state in New England to allow carnivals to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiesta celebrated its return with new and revamped rides, new and classic food favorites, and an array of games. The carnival ran from April 10-17.

Chagros provided a behind-the-scenes look at the carnival for Salem Life. Here are some carnival facts.

• Fiesta Shows is New England’s largest traveling amusement provider and has been in business for 80 years.

• It takes two days to set up the carnival.

• The three ride categories are: Kids (not scary), Majors (somewhat thrilling) and Spectaculars (somewhat terrifying but in a good way for people that like that).

The Llanos children were just the right age to be excited by the mini train, a ride geared for the younger patrons

The Llanos children were just the right age to be excited by the mini train, a ride geared for the younger patrons

• At over 85 feet, the Spider is the tallest portable Ferris wheel in New England. It was purchased two years ago and remained dormant for one year of COVID. It cost more than $1 million, not including the double generators that keep it moving.

• The coating on the red candied apples must be exactly 300 degrees to properly adhere to the apple skin.

• The FreakOut ride requires 5,000 gallons of water to stabilize it. That weighs 40,000 pounds.

• Fiesta Shows is one of the largest purchasers of stuffed animals in New England.

For the best aerial view of Fiesta Shows’ Mall at Rockingham Park spring carnival, Salem Life hopped aboard the new and enclosed Spider. It is the tallest portable Ferris wheel in New England.

For the best aerial view of Fiesta Shows’ Mall at Rockingham Park spring carnival, Salem Life hopped aboard the new and enclosed Spider. It is the tallest portable Ferris wheel in New England.

Fiesta Shows General Manager Chris Chagros says all ride tickets are provided electronically and are either debit-style cards or for the best value wrist bands that provide unlimited riding during specific times.

Fiesta Shows General Manager Chris Chagros says all ride tickets are provided electronically and are either debit-style cards or for the best value wrist bands that provide unlimited riding during specific times.

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