SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The long wait for this year's Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport is just about over. The gates open Thursday morning at 10 a.m. That's why it's been a very busy day on the midway as inspectors looked over all the carnival rides.
Long before the the rides take on their very first passengers at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, come safety inspections of all 60 or so rides.
"Safety is everything, absolutely. It's a top priority," explained fair general manager Chris Giordano.
In fact, he said it's so important that the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's office must sign off on each and every ride before it's ever allowed to twist, turn or whirl for the nearly 3-weeks of the fair.
And there are several layers of safety. "Now the carnival companies, their insurance companies require them to have an annual inspection every year," added Giordano.
At this fair it's Crabtree Amusements providing the rides.
There's another level of safety in Louisiana, in which the state fire marshal's office requires carnivals to hire an independent, certified, third party to inspect all of the rides prior to opening.
"That's what they've been doing here today, that independent third party inspector has been inspecting rides," said Giordano.
A representative with the state fire marshal's office goes behind that third party inspector just to make all procedures are followed.
And Giordano urges families to help them, as well. "We want families also to take some responsibility in watching their kids, making sure they're following the rules of the rides, wear proper clothing like close-toed shoes and those kinds of things. That can also help in ride safety."
Giordano said if Mother Nature cooperates this year they expect to see anywhere from 400-to-450 thousand visitors over the nearly 3-week event.
The fair opens Thursday, October 26 and runs through Sunday, November 12.
You can get in free on weekdays before 3 p.m. Advanced tickets are $8, while regular admission is $10.
You can buy advanced tickets online and at your nearest Brookshire's and Super One Food stores.