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August 15, 2017 05:08 PM

Special Guests Enjoy Free Rides At Turner County Fair

The Turner County Fair is underway in Parker this week. While many people enjoy jumping on the carnival rides, not everyone feels comfortable in such a crowded environment. That's why the fair hosts a special time for people with disabilities.  

For six years now, the Turner County Fair has set aside an hour at the carnival for guests with special needs.

"You can hardly get the wristbands on some of them because they are so excited and hyped up for this day," Turner County Fair Board Member Linda Heeren said. 

This unique opportunity is something many of the guests wouldn't normally experience.  Some are limited on funds, while others just don't do well in large crowds.  

"A lot of people can get overwhelmed with big crowds. Think if we would have stage fright, same kind of thing. Overwhelmed, over-stimulated. So it might help to relieve some anxiety, and it's easier for them to wander around and not get so lost," Serenity Mercer with Southeastern Behavioral Healthcare said. 

On top of free rides for them and a guest, everyone gets homemade ice cream and a chance to play games. For organizers, it's not just another day at the fair.

"It makes me teary-eyed. It's something that they just don't get to experience otherwise," Heeren said. 

"It just warms our hearts to see people, whether it's mental or physical disabilities, being able to go out and live and do things that we would take for granted," Mercer said. 

The carnival sponsors the free rides; while the game tokens are donated by Temple, Maxwell, Bowar Insurance. 

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