SOLON, Ohio – In the shadow of the tragedy at the Ohio State Fair, organizers at other local fairs and festivals are doing their part in trying to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.
On the eve of Solon Home days, organizers are busy making sure the rides at their festival are checked, and checked again.
Richard Parker, the Community Center Manager for the Solon Recreation Department, says the city has always taken the extra precaution of having the rides at Solon Home Days re-inspected by the Division of Safety of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Parker says safety has been their focus for the past 18 years, and this year especially, an extra emphasis will be placed on inspections.
“The pre-inspection we’ve done every year. The company we contract with does additional inspections above and beyond that. He also gets state inspections on his own outside of the state inspections we do, and he also utilizes some third parties to do some sort of specialized testing on equipment ” explains Parker.
As an additional proactive measure, the city will not use rides similar to the one being investigated by state authorities until the conclusion of the investigation.
Parker says there are between 20 and 24 rides at Solon Home Days and of those, they’ve decided not to operate 1 ride.
“This particular year we have a ride we’ve chosen not to use due to its extreme nature, and it’s similar to a ride at the Ohio State Fair.”
Parker goes on to say that the ride they have chosen not to use is not by the same manufacturer as the ride involved in the fatal accident at the state fair, Fireball, but out of an abundance of caution it will not be operating this year.
“Something like this is very scary and it is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to those affected by it, but we still want people to come here and enjoy themselves.”
For information regarding state inspections, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Ride Safety at 614-728-6280.
Solon Home days runs from July 28th through the 30th.