Myers enjoys living carnie life

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Tosha Myers fitted a section of railroad track for the kiddie train-ride, stood and wiped sweat from her face.

“Hot? Yeah, she said. “But then it’s always hot when we set up.”

Tosha was among the carnival crew setting up the Troy Shrine Club’s Pike County Fair under the hot noontime sun Monday. She became a carnie by chance and then by design.

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Twelve years ago, Tosha just happened to be at a county fair and just happened to hear they needed carnies.

“I needed a job and I got one and I’m still here,” she said and added with a smile that back in the spring, John Myers, the ride foreman proposed.

“John said he wasn’t going anywhere and I wasn’t going anywhere, so we might as well get married. So, the carnival is our life.”

Tosha explained that the fair is what opens tonight. “The carnival is what we bring in and set up,” she said.

For John and Tosha Myers, the carnival is more than a job. It’s the way of life they both enjoy.

“We have friends here and we get to meet new people and get to travel,” she said. “Most of our carnivals are in the Chicago area and in Indiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama so it’s usually hot but that’s just the way it is.”

Tosha helps set up the rides, primarily the kiddie rides, but not the high-climbing rides.

“All the rides are good,” she said. “My favorite is The Scramble and I like the Wing Glider. And the Ferris Wheel? Well, it’s just what couples do.”’

When the fair is set up and ready to go, Tosha puts on a different hat. She works the Balloon booth and enjoys seeing the excitement on kids’ faces when they win a teddy bear or some other stuffed animal.

The balloon booth has prizes of all sizes.

“Some of the animals are almost as tall as I am,” she said. “But, we have prizes in different sizes because we want everybody to win. When people win, they come back.”

And, what about those who say, it’s difficult to win a big prize?

“It’s about popping a balloon,” she said and added with smile, “You can’t fix an aim.”

While stuffed animals are the prizes of choice for ages two to 92, gold fish are also popular prizes. But, the gold fish weren’t on site. They would be late arrivals.

“It’s too hot to bring them before they have to be here,” she said.

Other games of skill include the water race that requires water gun accuracy and a PVC pipe knock-down.

But the games of skill or chance are just a small part of the county fair. The rides, the merry ones and the terrifying ones, are the big draw for most fair goers but there’s also the entertainment, the exhibits, the fair-foods and just the fun of being there.

The Pike County Fair opens at 6 p.m. tonight. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6-12.

Opening night entertainment is God’s Mercy Quartet and Dalton Bush.

Armbands that allow unlimited rides are available at the Pike County Fairgrounds for $25.

A special savings is being offered to fair-goers on Wednesday night when armbands are buy-one-get-one-free. This is a one-night-only special at the fairgrounds.

Tuesday and Thursday are Troy University nights and students with an ID will be admitted at a reduced price.