While we give pause and reflect on the tragedy that happened Wednesday at the Ohio State Fair where a Fire Ball ride malfunctioned and threw several riders and caused debris to launch from the ride, there is little doubt the preparations going into next month’s Wilson County Fair will include the safety of those attending to be the highest priority. The Fire Ball ride will not be present at any fair in Tennessee since it was banned after the Ohio accident.
Wilson County Promotions president Randall Clemons said the Wilson County Fair would continue to use Amusements of America, owner of the Fire Ball.
“The [Wilson County Fair] is very saddened about the accident at the Ohio State Fair. Amusements of America is a carnival that has been in business since 1939 and has been our carnival since 2008,” Clemons said in a statement. “They have a strong safety and inspection program. We plan to continue to work with Amusements of America to provide the safest amusement rides possible.”
In addition, Billy Costagliola, Amusements of America safety director, discussed safety at the Wilson County Fair last year after an incident at the Greene County Fair that involved Family Attraction Amusements.
“We not only have the state inspection, but we have a third-party inspector come in and they give us a real thorough looking over,” Costagliola said last year. “Safety is our No. 1 priority. It does no good for anybody to see someone get hurt. You have to maintain and inspect.”
And while there are a vast array of other attractions that bring more than half a million people to the Wilson County Fair each year, the rides are among the most popular, especially among the young and young at heart.
Please understand there are so many checks and inspections that will take place in the weeks and days leading up to the Wilson County Fair; there shouldn’t be any reason not to enjoy each and every ride – as well as the many other happenings the fair has to offer this year.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those injured at the Ohio State Fair, and we must not minimize that fact.
But in less than three weeks in Wilson County, “Here Comes the Fair,” and the show must go on.