Amusement company makes Western Michigan Fair debut

August 2, 2014

Cliff hanger MCP’s coverage of the 78th Western Michigan Fair is brought to you through the generous support of FloraCraft of Ludington, and Squires Family Chiropractic, 414 E. U.S. 10, Scottville; 231-757-3356;

The fair will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Mason County Fairgrounds on U.S. 10 east of Ludington. 

By Allison Scarbrough. Contributing Editor.

LUDINGTON — Amusement company, TJ Schmidt & Company of Standish, will make its first appearance at this year’s Western Michigan Fair.

“We are looking forward to it,” said TJ. Schmidt & Company owner Terry Schmidt, who has been in the amusement business nearly his entire life. “We visited the fairgrounds in the spring, and it’s beautiful. We’re excited.”

The family-owned traveling carnival serves the State of Michigan from April 1 through mid-October, providing amusement for approximately 20-25 fairs each year. Their thrilling rides, tasty carnival fare and games of skill combine with superior customer service to make the midway a fully-functioning traveling theme park, their web site states. TJ Schmidt’s trained staff and management team are onsite and ready to engineer family fun.

zipperSchmidt started the company seven years ago. He worked for his parents’ amusement company, Schmidt Amusements, most of his life prior to that. Schmidt Amusements began in 1982, and his father worked for another amusement company before that, Schmidt said. “I’ve been doing this for 48 years,” he said. “My dad started it when I was 8 years old.”

There will be 18 rides for fair goers to enjoy, including traditional favorites like the Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round and Tilt-A-Whirl, Schmidt said. But there will also be new rides, such as the Zipper and Cliff Hanger..

The Zipper is a thrill ride that flips riders upside down in all different directions. As the boom rotates, the free-spinning cages rotate around the boom. On the Cliff Hanger, riders lie on free-swinging hang gliders, and as the ride picks up speed, it rises in the air at a 45-degree angle and the hang gliders swing outward giving riders a hang-gliding sensation. TJ Schmidt & Company owns Michigan’s largest portable swinging ship ride, the Sea Dragon.

For the younger fair goers, there will be a large assortment of kiddy rides, such as the Rainbow Slide, a giant, colorful inflatable slide.

fair_logo_MCPThe company will provide 12-15 games that are sure to entertain, with traditional favorites such as Drag-A-Fish and Duck Pond. All games are family-oriented, and rules for each game are clearly posted. Many games are designed to give out a prize every time someone plays.

Delicious fair food, such as hot dogs, cotton candy, corn dogs, freshly-squeezed lemonade, sausages, burgers, pizza, popcorn, caramel apples, candy apples, French fries and much more will be provided by TJ Schmidt. The midway will offer picnic tables, covered eating areas and hand-sanitizing stations for festival goers. There will be eight food booths at the Western Michigan Fair for fair goers to visit.

All fair information and stories can be accessed in the menu underneath the Mason County Press masthead at Also, for more information, visit the fair’s Facebook page: or website:

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