Inspectors comb over rides in preparation for State Fair opening - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Inspectors comb over rides in preparation for State Fair opening day

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The countdown is on to the opening of the 157th Mississippi State Fair. Gates open Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Tuesday rides were going up, and North American Midway inspectors converged on the fairgrounds to make sure every twist and turn is a safe one. 

"I want them to be safe too because my grandchildren ride rides," said fair inspector Gary Wheeler.

Wheeler and the inspection teams with North American Midway Entertainment are looking for anything out of the ordinary on the rides under assembly on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.

The former Navy hydrolics expert and nine other inspectors, including two independents, are going over rides from top to bottom. 

"Part of it, you've got to learn to look at two or thee things at a time when you're looking at something," said Wheeler. "You're looking at seats, the safety, the lap bars, the seat belts. How they are attached? Are they holding? Are they working properly?"

"The most important thing for this company is safety," said the North American Midway Entertainment manager Patrick Handley.

Sixty-three rides are going up piece by piece on the midway.

Fair goers are reminded that seven people were injured last month when they fell from the Moonraker at the Delta Fair in Memphis.

In 2013 a 7 year old fell from the Skyride on the state fairgrounds while riding alone.

Parents are urged to adhere to weight and height requirements.

"Whether it be a crack or what have you, you know that's the beauty of rides that get moved every week. You can catch stuff like that because they get torn apart and put together and you can get a good inspection on it," said Handley.

Hours before the gates open, inspectors were looking for everything from worn pieces to correct assembly.

"To keep the fair from having a problem, the owner operators from having a problem and that the patrons come have a safe enjoyable trip, enjoy it and want to come back," added Wheeler.

Food inspections begin Wednesday morning.

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