UPDATE: Boone County Fair carnival rides back on after passing inspection

4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
By: Emma Claybrook, KOMU 8 Reporter
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STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair are back up and running after closing unexpectedly just hours after the fair opened because they failed safety inspections.

The State Fire Marshal did a second round of inspections Wednesday and all of the rides passed. 

According to Gale Blomenkamp with Boone County Fire, the rides originally failed "spot" inspections for minor things such as rusted clips, cracked plastic chairs and missing painted numbers on ferris wheel compartments. 

"I'm talking minor issues, very minor issues," Blomenkamp said.

The owner of the carnival company, Fred Sanchez, said not all of the rides failed safety inspections Tuesday and that most of them could have been up and running by 6:30 p.m.

The carnival company initially started packing up to leave the fairgrounds. 

The Boone County Fair board and the carnival company met Tuesday night to discuss the next steps forward with the carnival rides and decided to give the company 24 hours to get re-inspected. 

"I test all the rides we set up at every location," Sanchez said. "If I don't think my own kids should ride on them, I don't allow them to run."

Fairgoers can still expect the usual activities including livestock shows and traditional fair food. 

New this year to the fair is the Kid's Zone.

The Kid's Zone boasts an air-conditioned building with activities for kids including a scavenger hunt, games, coloring books and toys for children to play with. 

In addition to the Kid's Zone, the air-conditioned recreation center next door will be open, featuring the Youth Arts showcase.

Kids showcase their art projects, cake decorating skills, sewing, ham curing and much more. 

Also new this year is the One Price Fair. People can pay $10 for access to all the events, including the carnival rides, for Tuesday through Thursday.

A Friday and Saturday pass with the same perks is available for $15. 

One concern in years past has been the summer heat. 

"Temperatures are supposed to be good this week," Cook said. "So we are excited about that."

If the heat does creep back in though, there are two air-conditioned buildings people can go to. The Boone County Fire Department will also be at the fair with a mobile cooling station equipped to help people with dehydration and heat exhaustion.

According to Cook, the Boone County Fair is the oldest county fair west of the Mississippi River. He expects between 10 and 12 thousand people to attend the fair this year. 

The first fair was held in Columbia in 1835, and besides being shut down because of drought, World War One and World War Two, the fair has happened every year since. 

People can purchase tickets at the gate at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Sturgeon.  

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