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Organizers Know Pressure Is On For This Year's State Fair

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Workers have three days to set up the midway at the

North Carolina State Fair

. It may be a huge job, but the biggest task may be improving the public's perception of the new fair operator.

After a wild year of State Fair politics and federal indictments, Strates Shows is back. Company president James Strates said he knows everyone will be paying attention to the fair this year.

"Because of the publicity, I think you know we're in a fish bowl, and everyone's watching everything, so I think there's added pressure, but pressure can also help performance," he said.

Strates said there will be 75 rides, a dozen of which have never been seen in North Carolina. They are also borrowing an idea from last year's operator, Amusements of America. They plan to have a kids-only area with 30 rides and places for parents to watch.

"Having those rides separated in the one area of the fairgrounds, we took some strong opinions supporting that, so we'll have it back this year and hopefully, bigger and better than it was last year," said Heather Overton, of the N.C. State Fair.

State officials said it will be up to the people if Strates Shows gets to come back and set up next year.


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