KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Valley Fair kicked off Friday at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville.
The rides are set up four to five days before the gates open to ensure time for proper inspections, according to Eric German with Kissel Entertainment. The company is providing the rides for the fair for the second year.
“They are inspected by a third-party inspection company and that’s been going on this week and finishing up last night and then a little bit today. Then the third-party inspection company gives the okay for the rides to open to the public,” German said.
The state of Tennessee requires any ride company to have a third-party inspector check the rides before they’re open to fairgoers. After the initial checks, they continue to monitor them as the fair goes on.
“Once the rides are set up and operating, the rides are inspected daily before the rides are open to the public. The third-party ride inspection company remains on site throughout the fair and they review the inspection reports daily,” German said. “They do spot inspections and they also observe and monitor the ride operations throughout the duration of the fair to make sure the ride is operated correctly.”
If they do find an issue with a ride, that ride is shut down until they ensure it is safe again.
“If there’s maintenance that needs to be done, that the inspection shows, the ride doesn’t open until that maintenance is complete, then a reinspection is done. The third-party inspector will reinspect and then once they’re satisfied it will reopen to the public,” he said.
He said their goal is for fairgoers to feel safe so they can focus on having fun.
“Safety is number one, it’s the most important part of the whole midway, everybody is here to have fun, nobody wants to get hurt while they’re at the fair and so ride inspection is important to the industry and to kissel entertainment,” he said.
The Tennessee Valley Fair is open from Sept. 8th-17th. The start time each day varies, but admission ends at 10 p.m. each day. Click here for a full list of their hours.