Winnebago County Fair Rides: How Safe Are They?

By: Jorge Rodas Email
By: Jorge Rodas Email

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- The area’s final fair of the season is now in full swing- The Winnebago County Fair. There was a bit of a scare that shut down one of the rides, but fair directors say they’re taking every precaution to make sure our families are safe.

Scott Rose has been taking kids to the Winnebago County Fair for the last eight years and says he has never worried about the safety of the rides. He did notice that on Wednesday night, some of the rides weren’t moving.

“They’re down and I don’t know why,” said Rose. “I’m sure they’ll get them back up and they’ll be running by tonight.”

A light burned out on the Hurricane, a ride at this year’s fair. That light started smoking. The incident initially caused a bit of a panic, but fair directors say a state inspector came out and ruled the Hurricane and all 30 attractions safe to ride.

“They don’t want to have anybody het hurt any more than we do,” said Paul Shippy of the Winnebago County Fair Board. “If the ride is broken down for some reason they don’t hesitate to stop it. They’d rather it be broken down for half an hour and hear somebody complain than run an unsafe ride.”

Paul Sney works for Happy World, the carnival company hired by the fair the past four years. Sney says he regularly inspects his ride.

“We take this very seriously,” said Sney. “Cutting corners that leads to people getting hurt. It puts the kids at risk.”

That extra precaution helps give parents piece of mind letting their kids go on as many rides as they like.

“They have buckles and everything,” said Savannah Zarra who was at the fair with her 6 year old son Adrian. “He can go on whatever he’d like. [The fair] has been around for so long [and] I don’t ever remember there being any incidents. It seems like they know what they’re doing.”

The Winnebago County Fair Association says fifty to sixty thousand people are expected to enjoy the rides at this year’s fair and that state inspectors will keep stopping by to check up on every ride. Fair directors also say no one was hurt in last night’s incident with the Hurricane and major injuries rarely happen on Winnebago County Fair rides.

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