Exchange Fair rolls out of town - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Exchange Fair rolls out of town

November 10, 2002

Albany- All the rides have been taken down, the games are gone, and the food stands are no longer standing. So where did everything go?

First, James E. Strates carnival operators hook everything up to dozens of semis and haul it away. But don't expect to be riding behind a long trail of these unless your riding on railroad tracks.

"They went on rails about 1932 or 1933, and they've been on rails every since, and all the shows in those days traveled by rail, but its over the last 30 years they've all went to the highway. This is the only carnival that traveling by rail in the western hemisphere," says Assistant train operator Tony Waldon.

Not only do employees load the train, they live on it.

"Our day off is hearing the clickety-clack of the train moving, or walking down to the next car to watch a movie in DVD with a friend of yours, or visit with the guy who sells the cotton candy or the girl who sells the tickets or the guy who puts up the giant wheel,"adds Waldon.

"I've been here all my life. It's fun; you get to see the world, the east coast up and down - Florida, New York, all over," says James Whiteman.

The Exchange Club has been using James E. Strates for over 40 years, and says they have no reason to change.

They won't have an official count of how much money they raised this year until next week, but the club estimates about one hundred thousand people attended the fair.

Posted at 6:20 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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