ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The New Mexico State Fair is still about six months away, but organizers are already prepping for it. They announced on Tuesday that a new company will be running its carnival for the first time in decades. Nearly 460,000 people visited the fair last year.
For many families, it’s a tradition.
“My family usually goes once a year to the state fair,” said Dominic D’Angelo.
However, the carnival rides this year are going to be different.
Expo New Mexico said after about 40 years with Murphy Bros. running its carnival, a new company is taking over in September.
That means new rides and new food.
“I think it’s about time. We’ve had the same rides for so long. I could remember the exact same rides at that fair, it seems like since I was a kid,” D’Angelo said.
The new operator, Reithoffer Shows, runs one of the largest carnivals on the East Coast.
“This is their first foray over here to the west, and they are going to be bringing some unbelievable rides, unbelievable things that New Mexicans have never seen,” said Dan Mourning, general manager of Expo New Mexico.
The company is expected to bring more than 40 rides, including major thrill rides.
Expo New Mexico said one of those is being built in Italy a roller coaster set to debut here.
Fairgoers will also be using a cashless ticketing system for the rides.
“It is a kind of tap and ride where each ride has its own card. You just tap your card and on you go,” Mourning said. “Everything is all computerized, keeps track of all the monies and everything.”
As for what prompted all this change, organizers said the old carnival operator just didn’t bid for the job this year.
The Murphy Bros. Exposition website shows no scheduled events.
KRQE News 13 called the carnival company to ask why they didn’t bid to run the carnival this year but did not hear back.
The New Mexico State Fair kicks off on September 10.