WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- This year marks the 130th anniversary of the Dixie Classic fair in North Carolina. Opening day is officially this Friday, but hundreds of workers are already at the fairgrounds making sure everything is ready for the big day.
General Manager George Weston has been with Strate Shows for more than thirty years. In his opinion, the Dixie Classic is the best of the best.
"We have some of the most sophisticated rides found anywhere on any Midway in the United States. I mean super spectaculars. I mean rides that cost in excess of a million dollars," said Weston.
Weston says setting up a fair of this size is like constructing a larger-than-life Erector Set.
Brian Bailey is the food manager of the World Famouse Sandwich Cafe, which sells all types of sausages, hamburgers, hotdogs and cheese steaks.
"Oh, there’s a lot of work to do. We don’t even open until Friday and started selling on Sunday. It takes a couple days, gotta make sure everything’s ready, all the food’s in stock," said Bailey.
Bailey says now, most of their customers are fair workers setting up shop. They expect to sell thousands of hotdogs by the end of the ten-day fair.
Meanwhile, the fair also employs locals to help keep the fair running once it's all set up.
Wisnton-Salem, mother of two, Shenika Summers is thrilled she was hired.
"I'm currently unemployed, actually, because I lost my job on Saturday. So God is good. I’m able to get back to work as soon as possible. Take care of my kids," said Summers, adding the ten days of pay will make a big difference for her family.
The fair boasts at least 67 rides requiring seven North Carolina State Department of Labor inspectors to be on-site Wednesday, looking over the rides and checking them off their master list.
Inspector Doug Lucas says no ride will be approved until it's fully inspected and deemed safe.