Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ex's Mach 3 an adrenaline accelerator

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Hundreds of people were lined up at the Red River Exhibition Tuesday afternoon. I've gone once -- when I was five. I decided to see what all the fuss was about and try the most popular rides outside of Kiddie Land, as indicated by staffers and loyal Ex fans. Here are the top five favourites at this year's Red River Ex.

  • The Mach 3: If you crave adrenaline, this ride is for you. But hang on tight and don't eat a large meal beforehand. The Mach 3 is the newest addition to the Ex this year. I had such a thrill on this ride I had to try it out at least three times. I felt like I was on a windmill in the middle of a field during the Elie tornado. Get to this one early because it's a long wait to get on. And bring some earplugs, because there's always a choir of screaming riders.

The Mach 3 is a 37-metre arm connected midway to the ride's main support. Two sets of two seats are at each end of the arm. It rotates at 13 revolutions per minute, producing an acceleration of 3.5 G's on riders.

"It feels like you're going to fall over," said Julien Manaigre. "It's like you're free-falling."


  • The Mega Drop: Don't bother brushing your hair before this ride; it's just going to end up looking like Marge's hairstyle from The Simpsons. Once you reach the top, The Mega Drop gives you with a nice view of the exhibition grounds. However, I didn't have much time to enjoy it, as I was frantically anticipating the dreaded "drop." I was able to count 15 Mississippis before the fall. I wasn't able to feel my feet or my heart, which I'm pretty sure stopped beating during those 15 seconds. Make sure to take off your sandals or tie your shoes on really tightly; otherwise, you'll lose them.

The Mega Drop contains a gondola that takes riders up a vertical structure 39.6 metres high, then drops them to the ground so riders experience a feeling of deceleration of 4.5 G's.

"I would go alone, I love the Mega Drop so much," said Beverley Lunney.


  • The Blitzer: When you first hop on the Blitzer, it looks as though you walked into a box of Smarties. This ride doesn't look threatening, but don't let that fool you. What looks like a simple ride for beginners is nothing but an illusion. The trip is designed for experienced riders who don't mind the feeling of falling out of their seats as the car drops down the tracks.

The Blitzer is a typical roller-coaster ride. Don't forget to smile before you make the first drop. Luckily, there's a camera that captures your first moment of thrill or terror. This ride is more popular among the adventurous type.


  • The Fireball: The Fireball is a short ride for those with weaker stomachs. This ride is a breeze -- a strong one. Ladies, I suggest you keep your dresses at home. I could feel my cheeks dancing back and forth as I rocked from side to side. The Fireball felt like I was getting a really big "under-duck" on the swings at the park.

The Fireball is a popular ride among teens. The seats are attached to eight arms. The machine resembles a spider that spins back and forth.

"I like this ride; it's not too scary," said Lia Haligowski.


  • Niagara Falls Log Flume: Bring an umbrella, because you'll feel like you're actually at Niagara Falls. This ride is great on a hot day and highly recommended for families. It's a local experience of the Great Lakes and a nice, easy ride after you've just gotten off the Mega Drop.

Take a seat inside a log flume and descend into a splash of water.

"It's really fun, but I got really dirty," said Melvin Lucone.

Other popular rides include the Ferris wheel, where you can find families lining up to take a turn, and the Zipper, where you can find young adrenaline junkies ready to get their fix.

"Last year, I went on the Zipper about 10 times. I like how it goes backwards and forwards," said Owen Marteinsson.

But the Mach 3 is going to be the cherry on top of this year's Red River Ex, and the Blitzer will definitely be the sprinkles.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2013 A5


Updated on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:23 AM CDT: replaces photo, adds video

7:24 AM: Corrects day to Tuesday; formats text

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