Georgia National Fair ride operators guarantee safety

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia National Fair opens Thursday. Officials hope to meet their goal of 500,000 visitors this year. Ride operators are excited to show off their new attractions, but they’re also assuring safety.

Reithoffer Shows prides itself on more than 100 years of tradition. 

“My great grandfather, he started off with a steam driven merry-go-round,” said CEO of Reithoffer Shows Richard Reithoffer. 

The merry-go-round has seen some improvements since then and Reithoffer has added to its ride collection. 

“We have the largest portable amusement park in America,” said Reithoffer. 

Reithoffer Shows will call Perry home for the next week and a half. Then it will pack up and move to another city. 

“The neat part about that is when you take them apart, you get to look at the inner workings of the ride every time,” explained Reithoffer.

That’s important to Reithoffer because safety is his top priority. 

“Every state has their own inspection team that comes out and inspects the rides before you can ever even open the ride up,” said Reithoffer. 

Daily midway operators also test the rides five times every morning before the fair opens. 

“We check every block, the pins, the seat belts, the lap bars, the cars,” said Jeff Alberts, the Ride Safety Supervisor.

If inspectors find anything wrong with the ride, it doesn’t run until it’s fixed. 

“We ride it, our kids ride it and all the patrons from all the states that we go [to] ride it. If one person gets hurt, it’s too many for us,” said Alberts.

Ride operators had a slight set back during set up because some of the attractions had to come through South Carolina during the flood. Officials assured all rides will be ready for fair-goers on Thursday. 

Rides aren’t the only part of the fair that need a passing grade. Food vendors were also inspected. Officials from the Houston County Board of Health gave out permits Wednesday. Vendors need to make a 100 on their inspection in order to open for business. 

The fair opens Thursday from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. General admission is $9 per person. Ride tickets start at $10. The event is in Perry until October 18. Daily hours are 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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