KY fairs take precautions after tragedy in Ohio
MEADE COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - The 95th year of the Meade County Fair has the most rides in the events history.
Around 40,000 people are expected to attend the event. Fair organizers said the goal is to keep everyone safe.
"I feel like those people are in my hands," Meade County Fair president David Pace said.
For 23 years, Pace has managed the event. This year there are more than 20 rides. Pace said he personally doesn't care much for the thrill seeking entertainment.
"My family does though so I want to make sure it's safe not only for my family but everybody who comes here," Pace said.
On Wednesday, a malfunctioning Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair killed one person and injured several others. At the Meade County Fair, a ride that follows a similar motion was operating on the fairgrounds.
RELATED STORY: KY State Fair vendor shuts down Fireball rides after fatal malfunction
"We have been very fortunate and I feel that's because they are a good company and they do their due diligence to make sure it's correct," Pace said.
Kissel Entertainment is the company that owns these rides. All ride companies must apply for a year long permit to operate in Kentucky. They must also provide an itinerary so the inspectors can do random checks.
"We treat you the same if you have one ride or 100 rides," Chad Halsey said.
Halsey has a team of nine inspectors for the state.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture does an initial inspection of each company's rides.
A few days before every fair's opening, crews inspect rides again and place an orange sticker with a date of inspection on the ride.
"If it does not have that orange sticker more than likely it has not had an inspection done by us," Halsey said.
Fears out of Ohio means the Kentucky State Fair will shut down all their Fireball rides until further safety notice.
In Meade County, Pace said he trusts the state's regulations to keep his friends and family safe.
"Nobody wants that to go on at your fair," Pace said.
The Kentucky Agriculture Department also said they rely on tips from the public. Anyone who sees an unsafe ride should call (502) 782-9218.
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