The North Carolina State Fair opens Friday for its first day, but it’s a day later than originally planned.
Two days after then-Hurricane Michael forced State Fair organizers to reschedule, the show is back on now that the storm has passed through the state.
Earlier in the week, inspectors made the rounds for the food and rides.
The decision to not open on Thursday was made due to the threat of rain and wind and how the rides might hold up in those strong winds.
Some rides vulnerable to winds had to be disassembled.
For example, the Flyer ride consists of aerial chairs above the fairgrounds that move along wires. When Hurricane Florence hit a few weeks back, more than 100 of those seats had to be taken off the wires and then reassembled after the storm passed.
“We had to come back and re-inspect every time they take the seat off,” ride inspector Carey Creech said. “We just re-inspected it last week.”
Rides that stick up in the air are most vulnerable to high winds. Creech said operating manuals have to be checked to see what the maximum wind stresses are for scores of rides.
“You’ll go on a ride by ride basis. We approach each one individually,” he said.
If a ride is disassembled, it’ll have to be re-inspected after the storm passes.
Now that strong winds and rain aren’t a concern, organizers can welcome tens of thousands from all across the state to have a good time.
This year’s fair comes just a few weeks after Hurricane Florence brought epic rain and flooding to parts of central and eastern North Carolina and just one day after Tropical Storm Michael quickly tore through the state.
The fair may be a welcome distraction for many who have been impacted by the recent storms across the state.
Those attending can expect to see many of their favorite rides, games and food, plus some things that may become new favorites.
The State Fair will be home to some interesting new foods this year, such as Texas Pete donuts, bacon S’mores, shrimp and cheddar grits egg rolls and chocolate chip cookie hushpuppies, plus a ton of other items.
Your chance to try those new treats and take a spin on the rides starts at 10 a.m. The State Fair’s opening ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.