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Midway back at the Floyd County Fair with rides, games and fun for all

  • Games, rides, shows and food – and the people who enjoy them – will all be missing next week from an extremely thinned down Floyd County Fair. Fair President Amy Staudt said there will no events or attractions for members of the public to attend. Press file photo

  • Workers get the midway setup on Wednesday at the Floyd County Fair. Press photo by Kelly Terpstra

By Kelly Terpstra,

The midway is back this year at the Floyd County Fair.

That means carnival rides and games galore.

Next Generation Shows puts on the moving carnival in the state and is based out of eastern Iowa. The family owned and operated carnival company has more than 30 years experience of making fairs fun.

“It’s all Iowa based and Iowa run. We don’t leave the state,” said Riva Harland, who travels with her grandpa from show to show during the summer.

Harland was gearing up for a big crowd to enter the fairgrounds mid-afternoon Wednesday. The show wouldn’t start for another two hours, and the carnival veteran was relaxing with friends and set up at the balloon game – where contestants try to puncture brightly colored bags of air to win a prize.

“I only work with balloons and teddy bears,” said Harland.

Harland, who lives in southern Iowa in the small town of Moravia, said she has been spending her summer months for well over 10 years hitting the road and helping out with the carnival. She just got back from the Buchanan County Fair in Independence a couple of weeks ago. She’ll hit the carnival circuit across Iowa from around April until October.

She said she enjoys what she does – especially putting smiles on the faces of the people she meets.

“The main goal of all of this operation is to make everyone happy,” said Harland. “You want it to be a pleasant experience. You build fond memories out here with your family and some of the things you remember for the rest of your life.”

Harland said she isn’t too concerned about potentially hot days.

“It’s just part of summer in Iowa,” smiled Harland.

Where’s the next stop for Harland after Floyd County?

Harland didn’t know the destination, but she knew the route taken.

“I kind of follow the taillights. Wherever my grandpa goes, I follow him,” she said.