Safe Rides A Top Priority At The Sioux Empire Fair

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It’s opening weekend for the Sioux Empire Fair so you know what that means… fried food, games, and carnival rides are back in town.

Some people love the thrill of being tossed high in the air. Safety is a top priority for carnival rides at the Sioux Empire Fair.

“Nobody wants somebody to get hurt. If somebody gets hurt it’s going to hurt the fair,” Whitney Westphall, Ride Inspector, said.

Nothing is more important to Westphall than protecting fair goers. He’s in charge of making sure machine operators are checking the rides daily.

“Anything that’s not right. They check the blocking every day. They check the pins and the keys… make sure that everything is the way that it’s supposed to be so everybody is safe,” Westphall said.

Safety is so important to fair officials that they actually begin testing the rides a week before the event starts. Marketing Director Brittany Will says the first tests begin shortly after the rides are assembled.

“The inspections we require from the carnival are actually unbelievable. We kind of go above and beyond what we need to do to but we’d rather have it that way,” Will said.

It’s been a week since tragedy struck the Ohio State Fair. In late July, an amusement ride malfunctioned killing one person and injuring several others.

The incident hit home for fair workers here in KELOLAND.

“A tragic event like that really can ruin it for everyone. We’re taking every measure we can to make sure it’s safe out here,” Will said.

The Sioux Empire Fair is open through August 13th

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