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Festival offers thrills, food and new attractions to check out this year

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Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 2:46 pm

Butler Amusements will pull into the Grape Festival Fairgrounds a couple of days before the annual festival’s Sept. 12 kick-off.

The self-proclaimed “Cleanest Show in the West” has been providing amusement and gaming activities at Lodi’s Grape Festival for years.

Marketing Director Andrea Owen said there are a handful of new-to-Lodi rides not here last year, including:

  • The German Wave Swinger is work of art, combining the traditional swing ride with lavish, hand-painted scenery. The Wave Swinger lifts riders slowly from the platform and then proceeds to take them on a leisurely ride, tilting one way and another to add to the excitement. Its unusual size, unforgettable scenery, lights and music make the Wave Swinger a Butler Amusements classic.
  • The U-Toob Funhouse is a walk-through funhouse with a home movie twist. Patrons can enjoy clips of various funny home movies while negotiating obstacles. Unusual sights and sounds mixed with classic funhouse tricks makes the U-Toob fun for the entire family. The beautiful scenery and two stories of fun will attract all funhouse enthusiasts.
  • The Jumping Jumbos add yet another humorous touch to the selection of rides. This cadre of eight comedic elephants rise into the air and then gently descends while rotating from a center tower.
  • Roadsters are a high-octane kiddie ride that lets youngsters get their little motor runnin’. The Roadsters is an umbrella ride with miniature classic cars to ride in which travel in a 360-degree rotation. This ride will bring out the little grease monkey in any child, Owen said.

This year’s Midway promotions include a $15-per-wristband on Thursday, opening day. The Family Value Day also allows those 12 and under to get in free at the gate.

One Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the $28 unlimited wristbands are good from carnival opening until carnival closing on the day of purchase. The best deal for the weekend, though, is to purchase unlimited wristbands in advance for only $20 each.

Carnival ticket prices while the fair is open are $1 for individual tickets, $23 for 25 tickets and $70 for 80 tickets. Rides require 3-5 tickets each.

Butler, founded in 1970 and based in Fairfield, will also be bringing a wide variety of food and games to the festival grounds.

It has grown to be the largest carnival company in the Western U.S., providing carnivals for more 125 different events each year, including the annual California State Fair in Sacramento.

After the Grape Festival, Butler Amusements will head to the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield.

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