Youth Fair 2024 promises a “spaceventure” as today is free for FIU students (includes video story)

Mariana Jaramillo, 24, went to the Miami-Dade County Fair with his friends on a recent Sunday at noon. They were excited to ride all the attractions, but there was one that caught their attention the minute they saw it. Ride the Magic Carpet. With the capability to swing as high as 60 feet, it promised a fun experience. But it didn’t end up that way. 

“Riding the magical carpet fe­lt like a dream turning into a nightmare,” said Jaramillo, a senior at FIU. “Whe­n it suddenly malfunctioned and eve­ryone around me started panicking, I fe­lt gripped by terror. The ride collapsing and the thought of not making it out safely consumed me, harrowing moments for sure.” 

A video from Only in Dade shows the moment a driveline unexpectedly became disengaged with approximately 15 individuals on board. The ride will go under repairs and an inspection, Only in Dade reported.. 

Photo by Gabriela Flores

One of the most anticipated aspects of the fair for many students is the exhilarating array of rides that promise adrenaline-pumping excitement. With the end of the fair approaching this weekend and entry free today for FIU students, staff and faculty with an ID, plenty of people will likely be willing to take the risk.

“I love the thrill rides,” said Daniela Camallo, an FIU senior. “The fair always has a great selection, from classic favorites,  like the Ferris wheel to heart-pounding roller coasters that make you scream with delight.”

Some students like mellower fare. “I’m not a fan of super intense rides,” said Kevin Alcazar, a senior at New York Film Academy. “They make me dizzy, so I usually stick to the gentler ones like the carousel or the bumper cars.” 

Giannina Rosales, 24, is an FIU sophomore who was frustrated by having to remove all her jewelry repeatedly due to the metal detectors. Despite the inconvenience, she recognized the necessity of such measures to ensure safety at big public events.

“They were making sure we didn’t bring anything strange or dangerous,” said Rosales, a sophomore student at FIU. “It was a bit overwhelming when they made me take off my Pandora bracelets, rings, and belt, and even searched through my wallet. I had to step back multiple times because I couldn’t pass the metal detector. At one point, it felt a bit excessive and I’ll be honest, I briefly considered just leaving.”

Two other students, Marcus Gomez and Christopher Salazar, have a very fun and interesting tradition at the fair. Since freshman year of high school, they have competed with friends to see who can eat the most corn dogs. The person who eats ate the least must cover the cost of the fair rides.

“The stakes are high, and the corn dogs vanish quicker than we can say “fun at the fair,”  said Gomez, a St.Thomas University student.

“It’s more than just the corndogs,” added Salazar, a Miami-Dade College student. “; it’s the thrill of the competition and the bond between friends that brings us back

The responses from FIU students about their experiences at the Miami-Dade County Fair offer valuable insights. Many expressed appreciation and praised the diverse range of attractions and food, showing the fair caters to varied interests. However, some also raised concerns about the safety of the rides. 

The Miami-Dade County Fair ends on April 7, but its doors will open again next year.

Video by Brittney Rodriguez. Story by Norma Flores and Daniela Morales

Brittney Rodriguez is a junior seeking a bachelor's in digital broadcasting and intends to pursue a career in sports journalism. Rodriguez is currently an intern at SLAM Radio where she is a co-host on the morning show "Good Morning, Amigo." She hopes to further her knowledge in sports while helping bridge the gap for women in sports.

Gabriela Flores is a junior majoring in Digital Journalism and Broadcasting with a minor certificate in International Relations. She wishes to pursue a career in the film industry and work for the United Nations.

Daniela Morales is a junior at Florida International University majoring in Digital Broadcasting. After graduating, her goal is to work for a prestigious news channel and travel all around the world to cover news and stories.