Local News

State Fair Opens Today in Raleigh

Posted October 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Members of North Carolina's 4-H Clubs are preparinging their heifers, the powdered sugar is in place atop the funnel cakes, and it's just about time to open the gates for this year's State Fair. But before you board those rides and take off fair officials want to be sure the fun is safe.

There was a virtual army of people at the fairgrounds Friday. They moved with a sense of urgency for two reasons. For one thing, fair preparation is a little behind schedule because of recent weather. In addition, most people found that the faster they moved, the warmer they could be.

Inspector Jonathon Brooks of the NC Department of Labor said all the working parts on every ride must be very closely inspected before the twirling and tossing of passengers can begin.

Brooks says the rides at the fair are in good shape. They were inspected only last week in Winston-Salem. He says they usually only find little things that need adjustment.

States began inspecting rides about 15 years ago. Now, according to Jimmy Strates of Strates Shows, the company that provides the fair rides, most everyone does it. He says it makes everyone's job easier

The forecast doesn't look very promising this weekend, but that won't prevent hundreds of people from heading to the fairgrounds starting Friday for the State Fair.

Organizers say everything should be ready for Friday's opening, but Brooks says there is a slim chance the many delays could prevent some rides from opening on schedule.

And fair officials warn that, as usual, you can expect to compete for parking spots. CAT shuttles are the recommended mode of transportation to the fair.

Photographer:Ed Wilson