WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Officials with the North Carolina Department of Labor and the Dixie Classic Fair say all 70 rides in the fair’s midway should pass inspection and be ready for opening day on Friday.
North Carolina is one of only two states in the country that requires all rides to meet 100 percent of manufacturer’s specifications before a ride is approved for operation. Every amusement ride must be inspected by NCDOL Elevator and Amusement Device Inspectors.
“The North Carolina Department of Labor comes out every time a ride is set up and they do an inspection on that ride top to bottom. Our state is a 100% compliance rate state which means if they set up a ride and everything works properly mechanically, even if a light bulb is out, they have to replace light bulb before it starts to reach 100 percent manufacturers specifications,” said Dixie Classic Fair Director David Sparks.
Sparks said the state’s strict regulations only make the fair safer and have prevented accidents related to the rides itself.
“Most of the problems here that have resulted in anyone getting injured have been because they either didn’t pay attention to safety requirements or sometimes the metal decking, if its been raining and a little slick, those are really the extent of accidents we’ve had,” said Sparks.
This year the fair features 70 rides on the midway. NCDOL inspectors will wrap up final inspections Friday morning.
They have been on the fair grounds since September 26, following ride set-up each step of the way.
“You, your family, kids, grandkids, anything like that we want to make sure there are zero incidents related to the ride itself,” said Bill Essick, Ride Inspector.
The gates at the 131st annual Dixie Classic Fair open Friday at 11 a.m.
More than 325,000 people are expected this year.