Local News

State Fair opens for business

Posted October 16, 2008 5:35 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2008 9:33 p.m. EDT

— Strong attendance is expected at this year’s State Fair, officials said Thursday as the gates opened and the rides cranked up.

About 100,000 advance tickets were sold for this year's fair. The number is slightly ahead of last year. Officials said concert sales are lagging.

North Carolina Department of Labor officials held a press conference Thursday morning to kick off the fair.

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry and labor staff spoke about the ride- inspection process. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said rides must be 100 percent to be approved.

“They won’t put the sticker on them until they are confident that you can put your kid on them,” Berry said of the rides.

After the press conference Berry and Troxler tried out some of the rides. Berry said she rode the roller coaster, while Troxler hit the fast-moving Mind Blaster.

Gates opened to the public at 3 p.m. and rides started at 4 p.m.

Just before the gates opened, 111 rides had been inspected and certified. All rides are expected to be approved by Friday morning.

The fair boasts 114 rides and 140 games.