Oktoberfest offers quiet ride time for individuals with special needs


As people gathered in an area of the Seymour Oktoberfest carnival, Andy Schoendienst made a few announcements before they headed to the rides.

“Today is your day,” he said. “This is a special day for you.”

For the third year in a row, his company, Luehrs’ Ideal Rides, partnered with the Oktoberfest board of directors to offer quiet ride time for individuals with special needs and their families and caregivers.

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Once they had their bracelets on Friday morning, they could ride the Jump Around, Sizzler, Dizzy Dragons, Surfer Dude and carousel as many times as they wanted in an hour for free.

Logan Martin of Seymour and his son, Adrian, 5, were among the people who showed up at the carnival in the B and O Parking Lot.

Logan said Adrian was able to do rides at the Jackson County Fair and loved it, but Friday’s quiet ride time at the Oktoberfest was a better environment.

“He likes rides, and he gets overstimulated sometimes,” Logan said.

Adrian couldn’t stop talking about going to the carnival once his dad told him about it.

“All day yesterday after school and then pretty much all day (Friday), ‘I just want to ride rides,’” Logan said. “He didn’t know what’s here. He just wants to ride rides.”

Seeing Adrian go from ride to ride Friday, Logan couldn’t help but smile.

“It makes you feel way better inside,” Logan said of his son having fun.

June Boone of Seymour took Carter Kelly, 5, to the carnival Friday.

She said they came a couple of years ago and were glad to do it again this year.

“Oh, it feels great inside,” she said of seeing Carter having a good time Friday.

Carter, however, would have liked to have had a chance to ride the larger rides.

“Last year, we went to Kentucky Kingdom a lot, and he would get mad if he couldn’t go on the roller coaster,” she said, smiling. “He loves it.”

Martin and Boone both said they hope to see quiet ride time continue to be offered at the Oktoberfest.

“I think it’s great. I really hope it continues every year,” Martin said. “It’s great for so many families who can’t get out and do it during all of the normal hours because even I think it’s a little too loud sometimes.”

Boone said it’s great to see the festival and carnival company give attention to individuals with special needs.

At the end of the hour Friday morning, Adrian, Carter and others who participated were treated to free snow cones.

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