Q&A: Danny Huston of North American Midway

With the Indiana State Fair opening today, we caught up with the owner of its Midway, a lifelong Hoosier who has been operating the rides for 20 years.

On the rare occasion you get to enjoy a ride, what’s your favorite?

The Ferris wheel. It’s so relaxing, and you get a pretty good look over the fairgrounds. North American Midway [was once] in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest theme-park ride ever. It was unbelievable how many hours those people rode.

Do you get to test out all the new rides?

Yeah, we see new ones at trade shows, and we’ll travel to try them out. But a lot of times, we want to see the response from kids. We even have contests where kids get to name the ride. This year’s addition is called Alien Abduction.

Which rides make the most money?

The classics: the carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl—experiences people remember from when they were children.

You’ve been in this business for a long time. What’s changed?

My position, for one thing. The first job I had was in the dunk booth. Today, I get to travel all over the country, but I always enjoy coming back to Indiana. We have one of the greatest state fairs in the U.S.