Carnival Life on the Road

By Melissa Crash

Published 07/10 2014 03:11PM

Updated 07/10 2014 06:27PM

There's certainly a stereotype when it comes to carnival workers.

Owning and working a carnival ride isn't your normal 9 to 5 job.

So what is it like to travel the country, and what goes into the whole process?

People are beginning to show up for an evening of fun, but after a few hours they will head back home.

Carnies on the other hand, eat, sleep and work at different fair grounds all summer long.

Carnies become Terre Haute citizens for a week when they park their campers at the fairgrounds, but many people don't think to ask, what's life like on the road.

David Arena, a carnival worker said, "It's fun, everybody's happy and you do what you got to do. Do your job, get it over with, and go back to work and have fun the next day."

From when the fair opens, till closing time, fair workers are making sure their rides are safe and running. Carnies say it's a demanding job.

Richard Lanford, another carnival worker said, "Fair life is not as easy as people think it is, because we're constantly on the go."

But just like a normal desk job, fair workers have certain schedules.

"Being at home you have your daily routines that you do, a lot of the times I come out and work on my rides," said Lanford.

Richard Lanford looks forward to seeing happy fair visitors come to his rides, even though there is a negative stereotype attached to his job title.

"One woman called me, told me I was a piece of trash and the trash man needed to come pick me up, because I wouldn't let her child ride because she wasn't in the safety requirements," said Lanford.

Landford says he just ignores the negative comments and tries to focus on his top priority.

"Make sure the rides are ready for opening and making sure their safe to be open," said Lanford.

Working carnival rides may not be your typical job, but Landford says if you love what you're doing, you'll never work a day in your life.

"Evidently, I like it," said Lanford.

Carnival workers are salary based with Drew's Exposition.

So even if it's a rainy night like a few nights ago, the workers are still paid.

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