Staff Report

The Santa Maria Strawberry Festival promises thrills April 26-28 at the Santa Maria Fairpark, and the ride setting the bar this year is the OMG!

Festival officials call it a chance to spin, twist and drop on the wildest ride on the Central Coast. Riders are swung to and fro while they sit on one of four benches that spin individually, attached to an arm that also spins the four benches.

Santa Maria Fairpark CEO Richard Persons said that each year the Midway of Fun, which presents the carnival for the Strawberry Festival, changes things up by adding fresh rides.

“There are so many great rides, but the OMG! is the ultimate experience. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it will take your breath away,” Persons said.

Other new rides offer a mix of fun for the youngest of fans, as well as for those who tolerate a little more exhilaration.

Families can take a twirl in a strawberry at the Berry go Round, take to the skies with the Flying Elephants, and explore the dark corners of the Lost Mine. The adventurous can feel the wind in their faces as they swing from 60 feet up on the Star Tower.

Old favorites will include the Sea Dragon, the Tilt a Whirl, the Lolli Swings, Wipeout, Vertigo, Zipper, or Tornado.

Discounted admission tickets and unlimited carnival wristbands are on sale now at Vallarta Supermarkets, Tortilleria Mexico, and La Miramar stores. Tickets are also available at or on the fairpark’s Facebook page.