The New York State Fair is less than a month away, and officials want to make sure everybody heading to the Midway is safe— especially with the news that a teen died on a ride at the Ohio State Fair fresh in everyone’s mind.
Wade Shows, which operates the New York State Fair, does have a Fireball ride, but it is not expected to be that the Fair this year. At the Ohio State Fair, a row of seats on the Fireball snapped off in mid-air, sending eight people tumbling to the ground.
The rides that do come will go through three levels of inspection before they open, according to acting Fair director, Troy Waffner.
The inspections will continue right through the final day of the Fair.
“They shut a ride down if they have to shut the ride down. They tune the ride up. They bring in parts and you know, at least here, we’ve shut down rides early and we’ve kept them shut down for the entire Fair. Safety is the number one importance,” Waffner said.
Waffner says State Labor Department inspectors have final say, but both the Fair and the Wade Shows employ their own independent inspectors to help make rides as safe as possible.
“They go through rides when they arrive. They go through rides when they are being put up. They go through parts and components. They crawl around them, on them, under them. They test them with sand bags. They test them before people get on there and they run them through many revolutions,” Waffner said.
Waffner says stationary rides at amusement parks in New York must be inspected once a year, but traveling rides like the ones at the Fair are inspected at every stop they make.
Rides that come to the Fair have probably been inspected four or five times over the summer, and that’s even before coming to Syracuse.
The rides are then inspected an additional three times before they’re cleared for opening. Each ride is inspected daily.