YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Strates Shows Inc., the company behind the attractions at the York State Fair this year, is back on the midway after a hiatus of more than 40 years.
“This is their first time with us since 1979, so we’re excited to have them back," said Bryan Blair, the CEO of the York State Fair.
The company has two inspectors working around the clock to ensure that everything is safe and ready to welcome guests.
“Every morning they come in, they go through the rides, top to bottom, and we do inspection sheets, fill them out, turn them in -- it’s a constant evolving job," said Barry Schaible, the Show Coordinator of Strates Shows Inc.
Workers also do inspections throughout the day.
“The men on the ride are constantly walking around, monitoring. They here a noise, they see something, they have the authority on this show to shut a ride down. if there’s a hundred thousand people in line, they’ll shut the ride down and then call me and then we’ll come down and see what the problem is," said Schaible.
The York State Fair was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Fair made headlines when two people were injured on the midway's Ferris wheel. One man fell about 25 feet from a gondola while another rider was injured while inside the gondola.
A report by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture blamed the incident on a loose tie rod and a faulty hair pin on the gondola for the mishap.
The two people who were injured later filed a federal lawsuit against Chance Rides Manufacturing and Deggeller Attractions Inc., for providing the wheel at the fair and the inspector who cleared the ride for operation.
The mishap prompted this year's emphasis on safety.
Barry Schaible says the most common issue they see at the fair is guests not paying attention to where they’re going.
“People looking up, looking around, looking at the sights, they trip over their own feet, that’s our biggest problem, is trip and falls. and you’ll see the road right here is beautiful is nice and flat, there’s no cables, but when we do have cables we try to cover everything and make sure it’s safe for them," said Schaible.
About three ride inspectors from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will also be stopping by the fair to ensure it meets the safety requirements.
Shaible tells me all of his employees are safety trained and ready to deal with any mishap that might happen.