Local News

Officials Inspect 100+ Fair Rides

Posted October 11, 2007 2:15 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2007 6:05 p.m. EDT

— The state fair is synonymous with clean, family fun, and the Wake County sheriff wants to keep it that way.

Inspectors spent the day searching for any signs of illegal gaming. It was just one of many things happening as fair officials completed the countdown to opening day.

The theme for this year’s fair is Seriously Twisted Fun. But before any of that happens, everything has to be checked out. Everyone from state inspectors to local sheriff’s officials is involved.

As of noon Thursday, more than 80 of the state fair's 112 rides passed inspection. The rest should be ready by the time the gates open Friday, officials said.

Under state law, fair ride equipment must meet 100 percent of manufacturers’ specifications before it can operate.

“I've got two small children of my own. If the N.C. Department of Labor has inspected it and it has a sticker, I let my children ride it anytime, anyplace, anywhere. You just tell me where you want to ride and we'll ride,” said Jonathan Brooks with the Department of Labor.

Rides aren't the only thing subject to inspection. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison and officers checked in with more than 100 gamers to make sure nothing is fixed and there can always be a winner.

“We want them on the same page as us,” Harrison said

While authorities focus on the gamers, some are concerned about the weather forecast.

“We desperately need rain, not only for our agriculture but for the city’s water supplies,” said Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler. “But on the other hand, weather like this is conducive to record crowds and that’s what we want. So, we want rain between 2 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock in the morning. We would prefer that if it does rain, that it rain outside the gates of the fair.”

Last year, about 786,000 people attended the fair. Organizers said they are hoping for 1 million people this year.