Skip to main content

The Minnesota State Fair says it won't have, and has never had, the Fire Ball

The Fire Ball broke and threw people into the air.

The state of Ohio is in shock after a ride at the annual fair snapped while swinging riders through the air. 

WKYC says an 18-year-old on the Ohio State Fair's Fire Ball ride was thrown 50 feet and died after the seats snapped off Wednesday evening. Seven other people were hurt, and five were in critical condition.

Fairgoers watched the horror unfold. Twitter user @obey_jbell actually caught it on video – a warning though, it's upsetting. reports the ride had been cleared by inspectors beforehand. Ohio Gov. John Kasich shut down all the fair's rides afterward.

The rides at the Minnesota State Fair

The Fire Ball swings left and right like a pendulum, bringing people 40 feet into the air while spinning them around, according to the ride's description.

It's operated by Amusements of America, which does lots of events – such as the Ohio State Fair – across the East Coast and Midwest.

The Fire Ball is not scheduled to be at the Minnesota State Fair's Mighty Midway this year, and it's never been there in the past, the fair said in an email statement to GoMN Thursday.

You can see the Get-Together's 2017 ride list here. It shows eight rides that have the same name as ones supplied by Amusements of America. When asked if those rides are from that operator, the State Fair said:

"Amusements of America is not a ride provider or operator for the Minnesota State Fair."

The fair then provided a list of the operators for 2017 at the Midway and Kidway, noting some manufacturers build the same (or similar) rides, and many undergo name changes.

The Amusements of America events schedule also does not list the Minnesota State Fair.

The Minnesota State Fair, in its initial statement, emphasized the importance of safety.

"The Minnesota State Fair has a rigorous ride inspection protocol where all rides are inspected prior to and daily during the fair," the statement said. "Safety is our number one priority."

Amusement park ride deaths are not common

Incidents like what happened in Ohio don't happen very often.

An industry group, the Outdoor Amusement Business Association, estimates about 250 million people get on a mobile amusement park ride every year.

The group then cites a government study which estimated about 2,500 people were injured on mobile amusement rides in 2004. 

It also noted that from 1987 through 2005, 11 people were killed on such attractions.

Next Up


Gallery: 1,000-acre Wisconsin resort listed for nearly $4.3M

The lush landscape features a creek and private lake.

school bus

Alert after Woodbury students approached by strangers asking if they want candy

Valley Crossing Elementary School urged parents to go over safety information with their children in response to the incident.

basketball unsplash stock

North St. Paul basketball cancels Eden Prairie game after opposing coach's reinstatement

Head Coach Cornelius Gilleylen said he let his players decide amongst themselves.

Pixabay - school - classroom

These are the nominees for 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Education Minnesota has nominated 131 teachers from across the state.


Cities prepare for release of footage showing Tyre Nichols' fatal arrest by Memphis PD

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara issued a statement on the incident Thursday.

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.


Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

340 COVID cases have been linked to the MN State Fair

About 1.3 million people attended the event over the 12 days.

The State Fair will have 900 free shows (so you can save your money for booze and food)

This will help you save money, which you can spend on booze and food.

The State Fair will have 900 free shows (so you can save your money for booze and food)

This will help you save money, which you can spend on booze and food.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

State Fair reveals COVID rules: People urged – but not required – to wear masks

The fair is asking guests to follow its guidance "not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do."

All-you-can-eat JonnyPops at the Minnesota State Fair

Just eat JonnyPop after JonnyPop after JonnyPop after JonnyPop after JonnyPop ...

WCCO Radio

WCCO Radio drops out of MN State Fair over COVID-19 concerns

The station said Thursday it is pulling out of the fair, noting staff health and safety come first.