St. J’s Fall Festival: A Rollercoaster of Reviews


Photo Provided by Nicole Pineda '23.

The Saint Juliana parking lot aglow at night!

Layla Valenzuela and Allison Lillestol

Friday night lights looked a little different this past weekend. Since the football game was in San Diego, Royals and Friars headed over to the annual Saint Juliana Fall Festival, where they ate, listened to live music, and enjoyed the various carnival rides from Friday-Sunday.

Senior Alex Bohn’23 shared her feeling on it being her last time going to the Fall Festival: “I went to Saint Juliana’s since kindergarten and I can say that the Fall Festival was one of my all time favorite traditions. Although I never went on the Zipper till the eight grade, it’s definetly one of the best rides they have there.”

For some, the Saint Juliana Fall Festival has become a new tradition. Freshman Andrea Salazar’26 shared her experience as a first time visitor: “Recently, I went to my first fall festival this past weekend! It was really exciting and fun. I met up with all my friends and went on the zipper probably more times than is recommended. Definitely going again next year.” Though it was a hard week of parking on the Saint Juliana’s lawn, it was totally worth it for lots of Royals.

Although the Fall Festival is fun all around, the rides have become the most notable part. And the very trustworthy Layla Valenzuela ’23 is here to rate them for your next visit.

Hello! I, Layla Valenzuela, am a Saint Juliana Alumni and have attended every Fall Festival since 2015.

The most unflattering picture of me on the “Zipper” possible. (Photo Credit: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

As an avid adrenaline junkie, I will be ranking the rides (on the lower lot) at Fall Festival this year on a scale from one to ten. Enjoy!

Cliff Hanger-

This attraction consists of multiple groups of hang-glides that allow for three people to lay on their stomachs together and soar above a 15 foot radius of the ride. Honestly, this ride is a fun time (and beauty hack: if you leave your hair down during this ride, you’ll exit with an excellent all-natural blowout.) The only con is that laying on your stomach throughout the ride can get a bit uncomfortable- 7/10.

“The Mirror Maze”-

The title of this attraction is in quotes because I can’t seem to remember the exact name of this ride, and the graphics painted on the front change every year. However, this maze always has a multitude of mirrors from the maze to the displayed disforming ones on the second story. With really only three parts to this attraction (the mirror maze, the funky mirrors, and the slide,) this ride is going to receive a 5/10 from me. It does, however, provide a fun photo op in the funky mirrors.

The Slides-

Ah, the slides. I have a love-hate relationship with this attraction. I used to have an intense fear of being projected straight off the slides mid-ride, but now I realize that those concerns were silly and I try to enjoy the ride. I have since learned that racing my friends down the slides is very fun and super easy to win (as long as you understand the basic physics of inertia). Though it’s fun to race, I would never solicit this attraction alone. Additionally, having to carry a burlap sack up a flight of stairs isn’t too fun, so the slides are going to receive a 6/10 from me.


Senior Cali Gomez smiling on “Tornado” (Photo Credit: Layla Valenzuela ’23)

If you don’t remember this ride, there are around ten elevated carts that seat four people each and spin around in a circle- while the passengers are given the option to spin the cart itself for a more dizzy-ing effect- kind of similar to the Bear Ride. I appreciate this ride because multiple people can experience it together and the line is always short. However, there’s nothing particularly special about it, so it’s going to receive a 7/10 from me.

“The Scary Rope One”-

Again, the title is in quotes because I can’t remember its name, but this ride’s recognizable attribute is the rope bridge that hangs down the center. The attraction begins fun, with a ‘punching bag maze’ and a rope ‘ladder’ until the bridge. Now, as someone who loves a good thrill, this ride is TOO scary. With a plethora of toddlers jumping on the bridge (because they think that it’s funny,) I cannot ever cross without fearing that I am going to get trampoline-double-bounced to my death by a gang of five-year-olds. I can do scary, but not this scary- 4/10.

Ferris Wheel-

Unpopular opinion? Overrated. Each cart only allows for two riders and typically makes three full rotations- not enough for the thirty-minute-line. There’s really nothing special about this glorified hamster wheel and personally, I wouldn’t be disappointed if it were cut from next year’s fair altogether. Additionally, the ride is always an excessive amount of tickets. 3/10, its only purpose is to get a spectacular view of the parking lot on the lawn.


A fan favorite, the Zipper consistently cultivates an ungodly line that wraps around the parking lot. Who doesn’t love the terrifying feeling of being shook three stories high in a little box like a tossed salad? Though those who are motion-sick prone will usually sit “The Zipper” out, those who choose to partake in the ride usually love the experience. 9/10, I simply wish that the line were a bit shorter. Maybe add another Zipper instead of the Ferris Wheel.

Here is an example of some children “hanging” out (haha punny!) (Photo Credit: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

Starship 2020-

And last (but certainly not least,) the winner, Starship 2020. This is my favorite ride at the Fall Festival. Sorry not sorry. The ride is a dome with no seatbelts or bars, you just stand up against the wall and let gravity keep you secure against the wall. On Saturday, I went on the ride with two of my close friends from middle school and our favorite part was watching the nine-year-olds turn themselves upside down and panic as the blood rushed to their heads. 10/10, no complaints.

Overall, it was a very fun night full of lots of rides and money well-spent (sometimes) on tickets. If you missed this years’ festival, no need to worry! The Saint Juliana Fall Festival comes back every year, and I have a feeling that next year will be better than ever. See you next time!