Tulsa State Fair's Skyride, Still Going Strong Since 1965

Monday, October 3rd 2011, 9:03 am
By: News On 6

Dave Davis, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- At the Tulsa State Fair there is so much to do that it can be hard to decide what to try.

But there is one good way to get a bird's eye view of all the sights and sounds.

The Tulsa State Fair Skyride is 90 feet high, travels 500 feet per minute and costs $3 for a one-way trip.

The Skyride has been at the State Fair since 1965 and it's the only permanent Skyride in Oklahoma.

And the man behind the madness is Steve Shelton.

Shelton has been operating the ride for almost 20 years.

"Years ago, I had a lawn business," Steve Shelton said. "We had a hot, hot summer and all the lawns dried up. So I went to work for Bell's Amusement Park. I found out that running rides was fun, but the maintenance side is what I like."

The Skyride may look little fresher this year. The infrastructure of the ride has fresh coat of paint and combine that with a brand new control system and the ride runs as smoothly as ever.

Over 65,000 fairgoers ride the Skyride each year and Steve Shelton says they are the reason he keeps coming back.

"Seeing the people and how they enjoy it," Steve Shelton said. "It's just something different that they don't get to do every day. Seeing the people and what they do when they get out there on the rope, every day is a new day."

The technical name for the Skyride is the Von Roll Gondola System, but people around here know it as the Skyride.

And the Skyride is a family tradition as well. Steve Shelton talks about a guy who rode in car #13 back when it first opened in 1965. Last year, the same guy came back and rode car #13 again, 45 years later.

Each day this week, I'll be at the State Fair with different things to do and try this year.