By Linda Dillman
Amusement rides for Canal Winchester’s Labor Day Festival took a detour when a long-time vendor changed direction and moved their operation elsewhere, leaving city organizers scrambling for a new supplier.
“We were asked ‘why did we change vendors?’” said Labor Day Festival Committee President Carolyn Ebert. “We had no choice. The vendor we used for many years made the decision to go to a different festival. That was not conveyed to us until later in the year. We had to go out and find a new vendor and we were fortunate to find the vendor we got.”
Inflatables, a zip line and a mechanical bull ride provided by A & S Party Rental filled the greenspace behind Stradley Place for the three days of the Labor Day event.
According to Ebert, as a result of the change, one young physically handicapped boy was able to take the first amusement ride of his life on the zip line.
“There was a family of four children, three girls and a 10 to12-year-old boy in a wheelchair,” said Ebert, “who were enjoying the rides. The little boy was watching and smiling and having a good time. The gentlemen working the rides asked if he wanted to ride and his mother said he can’t because he can’t walk. They said, ‘you give us the permission and we will carry him up the steps.’”
Ebert said the workers picked him up, carried him to the top of the steps, hooked him up, and secured him tightly.
“All of them gathered around to cheer him on and that little boy got to take his first ride,” said Ebert. “He’s never been on an amusement ride. To me, these were topnotch people working that day.”