MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Safety is a major concern every year at the Minnesota State Fair, and that’s especially true on the Midway.

While the fair won’t open for visitors until Thursday morning, inspectors were out on Wednesday to ensure we all have a fun and safe ride.

If you have kids, you know you will be making a stop at the Mighty Midway, but you may wonder about ride safety.

You may be surprised to find out what a ride has to go through before you can ride it.

There are around 60 rides at the Minnesota State Fair and half a dozen new attractions this year alone.

Joe Bixler with International Leisure Consulting, was busy doing last-minute checks on the rides before opening day. Inspections are an around-the-clock process to make sure the rides are up to code, but they are also inspected daily.

“Safety is always our No. 1 priority at this fair — you know we’re here seven days before the public,” Bixler said.

There are six official ride inspectors assigned to the Minnesota State Fair. Several stay through the entire fair for inspections and maintenance. There are also four state officials that have to sign off on the rides after inspection.

Most of the rides come from Wisconsin.

“We’re going through the rides from the time they are taken off the trucks to full assembly to final commissioning and make sure it’s 100 percent,” Bixler said.

Bixler has been inspecting rides for 20 years. He says the fair here has never had any serious ride-related injuries.

While your chances of getting injured while on a ride at the fair are very low, Bixler said 95 percent of the injuries that happen are related to poor footwear — people trip on cords or fall. Flats or sneakers are a good option over your heels for fair attire.

Kate Raddatz

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