Local News

Officer Works To Ensure All Fair On Midway

Posted October 22, 2003

— The excitement of the midway games and rides attracts thousands of people to the State Fair each day. One man hits the midway every day to make sure game vendors do not take fairgoers and their wallets for a ride.

For the fairgoer, the midway is fun and games. For the vendor it is business. In the middle of the battle for the buck is the State Fair games inspector, Terry Putman.

Whether it is basketball, the shooting gallery, or pool tables, the off-duty Wake County sheriff's deputy is working to keep everything on the level.

"A lot of times there's a lot of accusations about not giving back change, that the ball wasn't in the goal or the dart didn't touch the color. Those kinds of things," Putman said.

Putman and his assistant monitor the midway around the clock, checking to make sure the games are clearly marked so fairgoers know what they are getting into.

Putman said while there are some complaints, the number of them has dropped over the last three years.

"In the five years I've done it, if we've had a complaint, we go to the gaming manager and the individual owner. The customer always walks away with a smile on [their] face," Putman said.

For those with complaints, the game inspector can be found at gate 11. Strates Shows, the operator of the midway, has its own inspector watching how the games are operated.

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