Kalani Fernandez, 11, Kalani Apilado, 12, both from Kekaha, Dayton Bayot, 11, and Justin Shimazu, both from Waimea, all woke up Saturday morning with one thing on their minds: Having fun at the Kauai Farm Bureau Fair.
For them, that translated into going on most of the ten carnival rides featured at the fairgrounds staged annually at the Vidinha Stadium.
The rides offered them thrills, the sense of danger and a chance to whoop it up with friends.
“I wanted to be here because it is something special to do during the summer,” said Aleina Emayo, 11, of Kekaha. “It is the only time we can get the rides.”
The four boys, all close friends and Pop Warner League players from West Kaua’i, joined hundreds who descended onto the fairgrounds early Saturday morning with their parents. Many waited in line for tickets.
Among the main carnival rides was: The “Zipper,” consisting of 12 cages that descended and ascended vertically in the air, the “Pharaoh’s Fury,” a boat that rocked back and forth high into the air, the “Spinout,” which allowed up to 24 riders to twist and turn in the air with the aid of hydraulic machinery.
Another favorite was the “Scooter,” which involved the use of bumper cars.
So they would be the first on the carnival rides, Fernandez and his three friends were in line for tickets about 40 minutes before ticket booths opened at noon.
“I am waiting for the Fury, because plenty excitement, people vomit,” Apilado said with a impish look on his face. Fernandez and Bayot said the rides offered them excitement and thrills that didn’t come with every day living.
Shimazu waited early for the “Spinout” ride because he liked the sensation of being “upside down.”
With money in hand, Emayo waited at the head of the ticket line with her two cousins, Jaezelle Balilea, 13, and Jaexenne Balilea, both from Hanama’ulu.
Although the fairgrounds didn’t open until noon, the girls had arrived at the fair with their parents by 8:30 a.m.
Emayo said she planned to ride all the rides with her cousins, and “stay here all day.” Emayo said she came to the fair Friday, and after seeing the long lines for he rides, she decided she was gong to be among the first ticketbuyers Saturday.
Along with Fernandez and Shimazu, Alex Balauro of ‘Ele’ele was the first in line to ride the “Pharaoh” boat.
Attending the fair as many days as possible was a top priority for her son, said Jan Balauro. The Balauro family came to the fair came Friday night, planned to stay most of Saturday and planned to attend the fair a third time Sunday.
“We are planning to ride all day until 3:30 p.m. (Saturday) when we have go to a wedding in Kekaha,” said Jan Balauro. “He wants to come back afterwards. He just loves it.”
Jan Balauro said attending the fair three days will cost her family up to $70, but the expenditure is worth it “because he (her son) is happy.”
A 34-year-old woman from Kalaheo who accompanied her two grandchildren and stood under a hot sun, felt the same way. ” For my grandchildren to be happy, that is worth it,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
The sponsors of the fair set up a tent and seats by the rides to provide comfort and shade from the sun for parents and others.
A $10 discount package was offered for rides on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, riders could ride indefinitely for $15 from noon to 6 p.m. Single coupons that could be used for rides went for 75 cents.
The co-sponsor of the Saturday fair was the Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union. The fair will open from noon to 11 p. m. Sunday.