Fair rides get OK'd ahead of Thursday's opening
Posted October 17, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — More than 100 rides at the North Carolina State Fair have been given a thumbs-up for safety ahead of opening day festivities, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said Thursday morning during a public safety news conference.
Dozens of inspectors have been at the fairgrounds for two-and-a-half weeks, helping officials approve rides earlier than ever before. Only one ride was left to be inspected before gates open at 3 p.m., and another ride schedule to arrive late Thursday will be inspected once it arrives, Berry said. North Carolina State Fair
"Our job is to make sure that all of you, the riding public, has the chance to enjoy this event and get home safely," she said.
North Carolina and Georgia are the only states in the country that require amusement rides to be 100 percent compliant with manufacturer's specifications.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said safety is always at the forefront of his mind during the fair.
"We're billing this year's fair as a homecoming, and we want it to be a safe homecoming," he said. "Putting on an event of this size is a major undertaking, and we couldn't do it without the help of the North Carolina Department of Labor, many law enforcement agencies, fire officials and food safety inspectors." Rides, fun ready for fair visitors
Wake County health inspectors were continuing work Thursday to check the roughly 150 food stands and trucks to make sure they are following the rules before gates open. Inspectors look at everything from water and sewer facilities to food storage and the temperatures of coolers and food warmers. They even check the cleanliness of light fixtures and tent tarps.
Troxler said officials have expanded the spaces available for fairgoers who come to the fair via public transportation.
"We want to encourage our fairgoers to make use of park-and-ride as parking is limited in and around the fairgrounds," he said.
Troxler also reminded fairgoers to be use extra hand-washing stations put up throughout the fairgrounds.