North Carolina State Fair

Officials: State Fair rides safe, games winnable

Posted October 13, 2011
Updated October 14, 2011

— Before the annual North Carolina State Fair kicked off Thursday afternoon, state officials and local law enforcement conducted a thorough inspection of the fairgrounds and declared everything good to go.

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry proclaimed her team that checked all 109 midway rides "the best ride inspection program in the entire country" and then proceeded to take a spin on the Ferris wheel as a show of confidence.

"If my guys feel like those rides aren't ready for their children and grandchildren to enjoy, they won't put the sticker on them," Berry said.

Ninety-two of the rides passed inspection, and inspectors planned to take another look at the other 17 before the fair's official opening Friday morning.

North Carolina and Georgia are the only states that require amusement rides to be 100 percent compliant with manufacturer's specifications. Crews crawled all over them in the days and hours before the fair opened, checking for missing pins and bolts.

Operators also agreed this year to stop each ride three times a day during the fair to perform their own inspections on top of the work done by state inspectors in advance.

Inspectors check State Fair rides Inspectors ensure fair rides work properly

"My grandkids will be on these rides, and I feel confident that they are going to be as safe as they can possibly be," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.

Wake County health inspectors checked every food vendor at the State Fair for any food safety violations, and Sheriff Donnie Harrison said his deputies inspected midway games to ensure they were on the up and up.

"We want to make sure that the game is winnable, and I can tell you folks, they're winnable," Harrison said.

More than 1 million people attended the 2010 State Fair, and officials are expecting similarly large crowds this year.

"Know that the (Highway Patrol) troopers are out there directing traffic and (Raleigh police officers are) supporting in every way that we can, but we need you to be patient," Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan advised fairgoers.

"If I were going to handpick people to be on my team to protect your family and mine, these are the people that would be here," said Joel Keith, chief of police for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


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  • anne53ozzy Oct 14, 2011

    Aside from the farm exhibits, it is a nasty place.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 14, 2011

    bad for you food and carnies, I am all ready to go.

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Oct 14, 2011

    Checking for missing bolts? Do you check for the proper head markings determining the tensil strength of these bolts? Just as long as there is a bolt of some kind there I guess. LOL no thanks.

  • 007KnightRider Oct 14, 2011

    Italian sausage w/ peppers and onions along with deep fried Kool-Aid are on my list.

  • grimreaper Oct 14, 2011

    Hand dipped corn transfats added...

  • storchheim Oct 14, 2011

    Just once, give it a rest about recouping costs for health care, etc. That's a matter for the ballot box, and for contacting your reps on a regular basis all year. If everyone lightened up every now and then, we just might find some solutions along the way.

    Land o' goshen, I hope you people don't whine as much about...ahem...bedroom hazards as you do about fried nabs! That can kill you too, you know!

  • sunshine1040 Oct 14, 2011

    Nobody said the games were easy they said they were winnable and just like the lottery nobody forces you to play.

  • Common Sense Man Oct 14, 2011

    There are wayyyy too many whiners out there. It's the state fair, get over it people.

  • HereswhatIthink Oct 14, 2011

    Nothing like the smell or feel of going to the state fair. Love seeing the exhibits and the animals. I don't go for the new fried food craze but love a hot ham biscuit and funnel cake! Thanks to all the inspectors for making sure the fair is a safe and fun place to take our families.

  • Buck Farack Oct 14, 2011

    *SIGH* It just proves the matter what you do there's always...ALWAYS...gonna be someone there to burst the balloon for you!
    If you don't like the rides...stay off 'em.
    If you don't like the food...DON'T EAT IT!!
    If you don't like the people...stay the 3ell home!
    I'm going to the fair and I'll eat what I bam well please, and as long as I'm not asking you to pay for it...MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!