Preparations are well underway as the Panhandle South Plains Fair. The annual fun fest has to pass a number of tests before it opens to the public. NewsChannel 11 caught up with the ride inspector, to see how the rides fair.
There are 55 rides at the fair this year. That's more than last year and hopefully something for everyone. But before you or your child climbs up and straps in, know these rides have passed a series of tests and are stamped safe for riding, but you have to be safe too.
|2004 Panhandle-South Plains Fair|
"The ride inspection process is a segmented process, it's several phases. It starts when the equipment arrives, some of the equipment we look at the devices and components on the trailer, because we may not be able to see it once it's erected. Then there will be several phases throughout the erection process, and then once the ride is finally completed we give it one final inspection for operational," explains International Ride Inspector Michael Hupalo.
Hupalo says the rides are re-inspected every day of the fair. "This is a partnership, you can look at it as, the carnival provider is expected to bring in quality equipment that has been well maintained, erected properly and then operate it properly," he says. In fact, no rides operate until they pass the inspection. "There's a third part to this partnership and that's the patrons they have to come properly attired with appropriate footwear and follow the rules that are posted at each station," he says.
We asked if they have come across any major problems concerning the rides. Hupalo explained that there are a number of things that had to be improved, enhanced or repaired but nothing major that may have presented imminent danger to a patron.
So far things are right on track, maybe even a little ahead of schedule here in the midway area of the fair. So all rides should be ready to go, when the fair opens Thursday night. One more note, the inspector says the fair is not a daycare, and if you are to drop anyone off, make sure they bring their common sense with them.
The entire fair opens Friday and runs eight days. The South Plains Fairgrounds are located at 205 East Broadway. Admission is $6 for adults and kids 13 and under get in free. Parking is $3.