WRAL.com at the State Fair

Ride safety remains top priority at NC State Fair

Posted October 11, 2012

— The safety of amusement rides at the 143rd NC State Fair will once again be a top priority for state and local law enforcement officials, N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Thursday morning. 

Dozens of inspectors were at the fairgrounds Thursday morning to inspect 105 rides, and state Highway Patrol officials said they would be prepared to handle the massive crowds expected to turn out for the opening weekend. Carousel Smart Shopper: Saving at the NC State Fair

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said there were no accidents reported on rides in 2011 and said her team of inspectors worked hard throughout the last week to ensure safety again this year. 

As of noon, 75 rides were certified by inspectors, and by early afternoon, another 15 to 20 were expected to go online. By the time gates open at 3 p.m., all of the rides were expected to be approved for use.

"We have the best ride inspection program in the country," she said. "We inspect rides to 100 percent of manufacturer's specifications. We have confidence that you can put your grandchildren and children on these rides."

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.

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.

Troxler also mentioned the addition of extra hand-washing stations, something officials hope will keep people from getting sick. 

"Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," he said. "It will go a long way toward a great experience at the fair," Troxler said.


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  • shortcake53 Oct 12, 2012

    alsnchns, there was a news story today about being able to see tobacco cured at the fair. I told my husband it was ironic that you can watch tobacco being processed, but dont dare smoke any at the fair!

  • mmtlash Oct 11, 2012

    I'll be heading out one day....there's plenty to do w/o spending a ton of $$ if you just look for it

  • PanthersFan45 Oct 11, 2012

    I've heard rumors that they will have deep fried GS Cookies this year. That probably won't be enough to get me out, though I'm a huge fan of roasted corn ...... I'll wait and see before I decide on going.

  • mpheels Oct 11, 2012

    jamesgirl - most amusement part accidents and injuries are due to riders not following the rules. Manufacturer's specifications can't prevent injury when riders do stupid things. Six Flags is open daily for 3 months and on weekends for 5 months. That a lot more opportunities for error than 11 days at the state fair.

  • duuuwat Oct 11, 2012

    good point @coolbreeze

  • duuuwat Oct 11, 2012


  • 426X3 Oct 11, 2012

    Awhh! Come on. It's the State Fair. Where is your flair for adventure?

  • devilblue Oct 11, 2012

    I hope the sweet elephant is there this year. The main reason I go is to see and pet the animals and get a good ole corn dog with lots of mustard!

  • Naysayer Oct 11, 2012

    They should also make sure the carnies are all showered this year.

  • Coolbreeze Oct 11, 2012

    Stay home,Stay home,Stay home....Then you won't have to worry about ride safety,massive crowds,germs,midway games,traffic,and all the other problems that will keep you from the fair. Then if you don't go you can stay at home in your shell and hope that no germs find an opening into your safety net.