NewsCovering Colorado


Meet the people behind the rides and games at the Colorado State Fair Carnival

Posted at 6:38 PM, Aug 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-29 10:29:03-04

PUEBLO — Saturday marks the second day of the Colorado state fair and the festivities continue. One of the main attractions is the carnival rides and games. Shooting basketballs and trying to knock down milk cartons were some of the fan favorites for many of the fair visitors.

During the fair hundreds of people come to play these carnival games and to go on the rides, but all this would not happen without the game agents.

Some of the game agents are locals and from Colorado. But others travel with the fair and go place to place setting up the carnival and running the games.

One of those game agents is Todd Emerson. After retirement, he and his wife got a job with an amusement company for the chance to travel.

“So far it's been a great experience,” Emerson said. “I work the games, I work one ball and basketball,” Emerson said.

Emerson said he enjoys traveling with his co-workers.

“Oh it's great, it is like a family, you get to travel and see new places. It's interesting everywhere you go,” Emerson said.

Most carnival workers are paid by commission.

“We make 20 percent of every 100 dollars we bring in so we get paid off every game. Little bit here and there,” Emerson said.

Game agents are not paid an hourly wage, but Todd says there are other benefits.

“When you travel with the fair you get free room and board, all that is taken care of, the travel is paid for. So all you have to take care of is food and luxuries you want,” Emerson said.

Mariana Fonseca is also a game agent. She works for a different company than Emerson. She normally helps kids play the game mystery bags.

“You just pick a bag and I pick it up and you get a prize no matter what, for example a turtle,” Fonseca said.

Fonseca said her favorite part about being a game agent is traveling the country and also seeing how excited the kids get when they play the game.

“I like being with the kids, seeing their faces when you show the prize,” Fonseca said.

A few of the kids who enjoyed the rides are Isabella and Sivina. They came all the way from New Mexico, with their grandfather, Jose Trujillo Jr.

“Usually we come down here to bring the kids because they have never been to something like this before,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo likes to see the exhibits at the fair, but says his grandchildren spend all day at the carnival.

“Riding around the rides. They go crazy on the rides, they won't stop until we say we have to go,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo enjoys watching his granddaughter ride the roller coasters. He said it is a chance for him to relax.

“It's a lot of fun, it's something you only do once a year and it's enjoyable and to just get away from everything that's what i like about it,” Trujillo said.

Both Emerson and Trujillo said it is all about having fun.

Carnival rides and games will be every day of the fair.

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