Even after moving to Omaha to attend the College of Saint Mary, Columbus natives Taylor Krings and Regi Zakrzewski said they never hesitate to return annually for the carnival at the Platte County Fair that will be taking place until Sunday.
“We have pretty much attended the carnival every year since we were little,” Zakrzewski said. “And we still are when we are in college.”
Aside from being able to reunite with their families back home, they both said the lemonade at the fair is by far the best they’ve ever had.
“It’s so good,” Krings said. “They make it in front of you and everything.”
The duo, currently college roommates in Omaha, enjoyed on Wednesday riding on the variety of rides available at the carnival, from the Ferris wheel to the Top Gun ride.
“(Top Gun) was scary… but it was fun,” Krings said, noting she rode on the ride for the first time this year.
Based in Lyford, Texas, Moore’s Greater Shows carnival retained the majority of its fan favorites, including many of the signature rides for people of all ages. Attendees can purchase a $20 wristband for an all-access pass to the rides each night.
“Just having a lot of fun and enjoying themselves,” said Nebraska native Janie Moore, co-owner of Moore’s Greater Show.
Moore runs the carnival with her husband, Rickey.
“I hope they all win lots of prizes," she said.
As attendees walk around the carnival, they can expect to see a ride with bright lights and murals of Hollywood artists painted on it with the sign stating, “Crazy Dance.” It’s a new attraction in this year’s carnival for adults and youth to enjoy.
Those present can also enjoy a variety of food at the carnival, such as corn dogs, funnel cake, turkey legs and ribbon fries. And it wouldn't be a fair without deep-fried food. Specifically in the carnival area at the fairgrounds, residents can find everything one could think of fried - Oreos, Snickers, cheesecake, cookie dough, pickles and more.
Moore highlighted a new item on the menu that is rapidly becoming popular: The “Skunk Egg.” It is ground chicken stuffed with jalapeñoes, other peppers, onion, bacon, ham and cheese, which is rolled into an egg shape and deep-fried. Moore said many people enjoy dipping the Skunk Eggs with ranch dipping sauce.
“Everyone should at least try a Skunk Egg,” she said. “It’s very, very good.”
Moore’s Greater Shows can be seen in various fairs and events throughout the Midwest. Members started their season of traveling in February from down south in Texas and gradually made their way up north. They’ve made appearances in Kansas, New Mexico, Arkansas and Iowa.
“I love meeting new people (and) seeing people we’ve seen year after year,” Moore said.
Among all the different states and areas she's visited, Moore said she enjoys returning to her home state, adding Columbus is close to where her mother lives in Beatrice.
“I just like Nebraska,” she said. “I am here and I am from Nebraska.”
Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.