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Ferris wheel at State Fair is biggest yet, with air conditioned gondolas

The iconic ferris wheel is under construction at the SC fairgrounds, and this year's structure is a little different than previous years.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Each year when the fair comes to town, the South Carolina fairgrounds transform. 

The most iconic piece of the event is the huge Ferris wheel that can be seen all over town.  

"This Ferris wheel started getting delivered a week ago," says Blake Huston, unit manager for North American Midway Entertainment, the company that provides the rides for the fair. "Total time to set up this Ferris wheel can be about six to seven days." 

This year's Ferris wheel, though, is not the same as in years past. "So this is a new Ferris wheel for us, we just purchased it. It came straight out of the Netherlands," Huston says. "It came right off the ship, and we trucked it from Baltimore, Maryland right down here and this is a North American debut for this particular Ferris wheel."

Huston told us it took 20 semi-trucks to ship the entirety of the structure. 

The Ferris wheel is 150 ft. tall, meaning it is as tall as 8 regular size giraffes standing on top of each other or around 20 Shaqs standing on top of each other. 

"The sheer size of it, its almost twice as tall as a normal big Ferris wheel that we have here," Huston says. "It's more of a permanent structure type wheel. It looks like something you would find in an amusement park."  

Huston told us that 15 people at a time are working on assembling this big guy. The engineers from the Netherlands are even here helping with set up and break down. 

RELATED: 150th South Carolina State Fair includes new rides, exhibits, food

The best part about this structure isn't the size, "It has air-conditioned gondolas on it," Huston says. There is even a VIP gondola with more comfortable seating. 

"The Ferris wheel, it's an iconic symbol for the fair. It's 150 years of the South Carolina State Fair and it helps to celebrate people coming to the fair and celebrating the love for fair atmosphere," Huston says. 

The State Fair kicks off on October 9 and runs through October 20. For more info check out this web story