Safety inspectors, others preparing for opening of Kentucky Stat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Safety inspectors, others preparing for opening of Kentucky State Fair

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The 112th Kentucky State Fair opens on Thursday, but for some people the big event has already begun.

From safety inspectors to judges to food vendors, the Kentucky State Fair begins long before the first customer comes through the gates.

A Wednesday morning rain shower did not stop work crews from piecing together the more than 60 state fair rides, both on the Midway and, for the first time, at the South Wing.

“We've mixed things up a lot so that people will see something fresh and different this year,” said Amanda Storment, VP of Communications for the Kentucky State Fair Board.

The crews are all working under the watchful eye of a dozen state safety inspectors. They've been here since Monday, and will remain throughout the fair's run.

“Anything that holds the ride together or controls the ride, we're out here inspecting to make sure it passes industry standards,” said Chad Halsey with the Dept. of Agriculture.

Food from Savoy Catering has become a state fair standard. Its donut burger is a favorite and, this year, there are new artery-clogging treats.

“It's a process, in a year's time. We're just always trying new stuff, trying new items we think the public will like,” said Don Henna.

Inside the South Wing, judges have already decided which of the 3,000 textiles they like. Ribbons hang on everything from clothing to quilts.

“They look at stitch, they look at construction, they look at difficulty of design,” said Susan Hoferkamp, the superintendent of textiles. “There's lots of elements that go into making a quilt and they pretty much evaluate every single one of them.”

In the West Wing, Pamela Stonich hopes her dairy goats have what it takes to take home ribbons this year. “Good breeding, good food, good housing, just a lot of care,” said Stonich.

Back on the Midway, inspectors continue their work with last week's ferris wheel accident in Tennessee that injured several riders still fresh on their minds. “Our goal is to keep every patron (and) every child safe when they come out to the state fair to enjoy these rides,” said Halsey.

This year, there are special days when military families and senior citizens get in free.

For more information on that and more on the Kentucky State Fair, click here.

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