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Carnival Rides Malfunction at Springfield Days Festival

The nice weather brought out the crowds for Springfield Days, and all went well until the Graviton, a spinning ride at the carnival, went out of control on Saturday night and sent several people to the hospital with dizzy symptoms.

The Graviton, which dominated the northern edge of the Springfield Days carnival in Springfield Plaza near Kmart, is a ride that spins around, sending the riders against the wall. Operators had difficulty turning off the ride at the allotted time, and the riders continued to spin at high speeds for a short time. The Graviton was shut down on Sunday, along with a boat ride that malfunctioned and sent an empty boat off track.

On Monday, June 3, at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, the incident was brought up. and an investigation will look into the credentials of the safety inspectors.

The carnival was just one part of the multifaceted festival. There was the Miss Springfield competition on Thursday night at Springfield Mall, the parade and puppy parade, the antique car show, an art contest, concerts, and the cardboard boat race at Lake Accotink on Sunday.

Springfield Chamber of Commerce executive director Nancy-jo Manney was at the pageant, parade, car show and carnival on Saturday.

"I heard a lot of people coming back from the parade. They liked it. From the things I saw, it was positive," Manney said.

Tammy Shapiro is a Chamber member who was involved in the pageant and attended several of the activities, including the carnival.

"It was an overall positive experience. It's unfortunate that everyone focuses on a carnival ride that went haywire," she said.

Linda Waller, an administrative assistant from Supervisor Dana Kauffman's (D-Lee) office, was at the carnival as well but didn't encounter any problems.

"The big hit was that rock-climbing wall," she said