The Great Frederick Fair: Fun by the carload
$50 carload special' offers special bargain to large families at fair
After spending the evening at The Great Frederick Fair, Suzie Garrett was pleasantly surprised by the amount of money left in her wallet upon exiting thanks to the annual "$50 carload special" on Wednesday.
The Frederick resident filled her vehicle with friends Amy Broomall, Heather Hyatt and three children to visit the fair. Though for her group it was pure coincidence they came the night of the deal, they said they quickly took advantage of it. They enjoyed food and took advantage of ride discounts, then trailed into parking lot D around 8 p.m. ready to call it a night.
Richard Nease, a four-year parking attendant veteran with the fair, said the $50 carload special seemed to be a popular option the $50 fee covered fair parking, admission and unlimited rides for everyone legally seat-belted in the vehicle.
Typically, parking costs $5, admission for ages 11 years and up is $7 a person, and ride tickets cost $1.25 a ticket, with many rides requiring multiple tickets.
As Nease stood at the front of the lot on Wednesday evening, shuttles and incoming cars intermittently passed behind him. He said the average car had about six people in it and the busiest period had been from about 5 to 7 p.m.
"It's probably averaging about 600 cars," he said, estimating the field of cars, minivans and SUV's in the distance.
The entire parking lot off of Monocacy Boulevard was closed off to regular parking to solely provide parking to the $50 carload special participants who had the option of being shuttled to a gate at the fairgrounds.
Buses were not included in the sixth annual promotion.
Nease said there seemed to be an equal balance of vehicles full of groups of friends and vehicles full of families. The special which lasted from 2 p.m. to close was sponsored by the fair, Key 103/The Eagle and Reithoffer Shows.
For one group, the promotion translated into a bargain.
"For the kids to get the unlimited rides, yes [it's a savings]," Broomall said.