Columbia County Fair ready to open, operators say safety is paramount

Columbia County Fair ready to open, operators say safety is paramount

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - The Columbia County Fair starts Thursday and like other fairs, it was set up in just a few days.

Nuts, bolts, and safety clips; these are all things used to put together fair rides in a span of a day or two.

“We got rides for the small kids, big kids, teenagers... we got it all," says Mike Zapata, the chairman of the Columbia County Fair. They’ve been hard at work getting ready for opening day. “It’s all about family and making sure the family has a good experience here.”

One thing that’s essential to a good fair experience, besides the food of course, is safety.

“Main focus here is safety and making sure people have a good time. That’s the most important thing we work on,” says Zapata.

For the Columbia County Fair, Midway Manager James Graybeal is also on the board of directors for the national association of ride safety. but that’s not all. “We have 5 certified inspectors on our staff that travels with us.”

This team of inspectors say making sure each ride is ready to operate and that it operates correctly is something they don’t take lightly.

Graybeal says, “That’s the livelihood of our business. You certainly have to put safety above everything else.” Rides are inspected as they are put up, after assembly, and each day before the fair opens. “Can’t take for granted that just because everything worked right yesterday that it will work right today.”

This attitude toward safety is what the fair chairman says makes the Columbia County Fair stand out from the rest in our area.

Since Thursday is the opening day of the fair, admission is free for the first 45 minutes.

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