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MailTribune.com
  • Hump day! at the fair

    Camel rides are a highlight at this year's Jackson County Fair, which appears to be offering more variety than ever
  • The only thing that could keep 6-year-old Dahlia Hugo away from the carousel, roller coaster and tilt-a-whirl at the Jackson County Fair on Saturday was a ride on Bubbles the dromedary camel.
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  • The only thing that could keep 6-year-old Dahlia Hugo away from the carousel, roller coaster and tilt-a-whirl at the Jackson County Fair on Saturday was a ride on Bubbles the dromedary camel.
    Dahlia, of Ashland, said the tilt-a-whirl and Grand Prix roller coaster were her favorite rides of the fair this year, but sitting atop 6-foot-tall Bubbles was still amusing.
    Bubbles is one of three dromedaries that showed up for the Jackson County Fair this year with Dustin's Top Notch Camel Ride from Yoncalla, said ride operator Kris Davis.
    On a busy fair day, the three camels will split time among about 300 riders, Davis said.
    The camels are always a popular attraction at carnivals, he said, because they're unique to the scene.
    "People never really see camels very much, so they always want to come up and pet them and ride them," he said. "We have two more at home that we take to fairs and give rides on."
    The camels weren't the only amusement offering seat time at the fair, which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and is free to attend.
    The Zipper, Orbiter, Super Slide, Ring of Fire and Galaxy 3000 were turning gears, lit up and eliciting screams of joy and sheer terror from riders.
    "The rides are way better this year," said Brandy Joy, 29, of Medford.
    On Saturday, Joy was leading her two daughters, Timbre, 6, and Darcy, 7, around to all the rides they were tall enough to go on.
    For Timbre, the pony carousel topped her list of favorite rides, while Darcy preferred "the spinny ones."
    Darcy said she liked the fair this year much better than last year's.
    "There are new rides and cooler stuff ... way better," she said.
    It's been a good weekend, said Vincent DeLaCruz, of Eagle Point.
    Preparing a fresh batch of corn dogs for the late lunch crowd, DeLaCruz was running a snack shack near the Mardi Gras Mirror House.
    The booth has been selling 40 to 50 corn dogs a day, he said, adding the golden-brown, stick-stuck treats are tied with funnel cakes as the most popular item of the fair this year.
    "We've been getting slammed," he said, as a nearby fairgoer with his heart set on winning an oversized stuffed animal slammed a softball straight through a stack of bottles.
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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