Dixie Classic Fair confident in ride safety

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Friday marks opening day at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem and that means time for classic fair foods and rides—but, with ride malfunctions across the country, including one in Greensboro, FOX8 wanted to know if officials were concerned about lower attendance.

“No,” fair spokesperson Siobhan Olson said. “We all have families, so the reality is we take everything very personally and very seriously.”

Olson said the N.C. Department of Labor and ride operators do everything possible to make sure the equipment is safe, especially the pieces regularly taken apart to travel from place to place, like the Ferris wheel.

Every ride is fully inspected and certified by the Department of Labor’s Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau before it can operate. Amusement rides are inspected each time they are moved and reassembled at different locations across the state.

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North Carolina is one of only two states in the nation that require rides to be 100 percent compliant with manufacturer’s specifications before the ride is approved.

The Department of Labor will give a press conference Friday at 10 a.m. to update the public on the status of the rides and the inspection process.

Strates Shows is the traveling carnival company supplying the Dixie Classic with rides this year.

George Weston, general manager, said he's fully confident that his rides will meet every standard.

"Ride safety is our number one concern, we don’t want anybody hurt," Weston said. "I would tell people coming here this week, don't be nervous at all."

Olson said if rides aren't your cup of tea, there are plenty of other things to do at the fair this year, like visit the Yesteryear exhibit, featuring 135-year-old buildings and partake in the dozens of food vendors that will be present.

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