Having little to no experience with amusement parks and fairs, I’m still very much drawn to them. I love the idea of going on thrilling rides, winning prizes, eating unhealthy but delicious foods, and having an amazing time with the people I’m with. I’m for sure a scaredy-cat when it comes to giant rollercoasters and the pirate ship ride, but I’d want to still ride them for the experience and hopefully overcome my fear of going on them.
Saipan is a tiny geographical island, so we never had any huge fairs or amusement parks available.
We were lucky with the 4th of July carnivals though. It was an event I’d always looked forward to as a kid, and I’m hoping to visit even bigger amusement parks in the future *cough*Disney World/Land, Six Flags, Universal Studios*cough*.
I can’t exactly remember my first time attending the carnival, but I have a few bits and pieces of memory that stick out to me.
My First Fair Experience
I’m very grateful to have experienced riding a Ferris Wheel back home. It’s one of those mellow rides, but I remember still being afraid of going on it the first time because of how high it got. I was also worried about the seat being toppled over and I’d fall to my death (yeah, I have the worst-case scenarios ever). After my first ride, however, I enjoyed it a lot. It became the first ride I’d always go to whenever the carnival came back.
Another ride I distinctly remember is the Tilt-A-Whirl. I only remember it because I can still feel the dizziness when I was on it. I felt that the operator knew I was feeling nauseous, and he kept us on the ride longer than expected (rude). I don’t remember riding it often after my initial experience.
Huh, can’t believe these are the only two rides I remember. A lot of the other rides were for children below 5 years old, and I was around 10+ years old when I remember attending, so I obviously wasn’t allowed on them. I’m pretty sure there are a couple of other rides for 10+ available, but I’m literally drawing a blank right now.
If there are any Saipan readers who remember the other rides from the carnival, please comment them below. I’d greatly appreciate your help!
I’d always looked forward to the cotton candy. It’s my ultimate favorite carnival treat, ever. I wouldn’t say I’d eat it multiple times in a week, but it’s something that I don’t mind eating if it was presented to me.
I can’t forget the general food vendors. The vendors are practically available all year long as they have permanent locations on the island, but having them present at the carnival kind of makes them 10x more desirable to eat.
There were also local vendors selling interesting items, such as jewelry, memorabilia, clothes, paintings, ceramic items, etc. A lot of them were personally handcrafted by the vendors themselves. It was always enjoyable seeing the skills and talents of the local community.
I never really watched what’s going on at the stage area of the carnival unless there were people I personally knew who was going to be performing, or if my friends find something interesting happening on stage.
The fireworks were amazing to watch and what I look forward to as well. I remember that the island was allowed to light up those massive fireworks, both businesses, and individuals.
Through the Years
By the time I was around 16+, the rides slowly stopped coming to the island and eventually stopped, which was truly a bummer. I’ve looked forward to these rides all year long, even though there weren’t many available. I’m not exactly sure as to why we stopped getting the rides because I thought they were doing very well with attracting the attendees.
Nonetheless, the 4th of July celebrations kept going without the rides. All the vendors and the entertainment increased, and I think still made the “carnival” fun to go to. I still had a good time going there with friends and simply walking around, getting food, and occasionally watching the performances.
I do hope that someday, the rides will go back to the island. I hope that the children of the current generation will be able to experience these kinds of attractions and have these memories to look back on when they grow up and come across even bigger adventures.