Updated 10/11/2012 11:43 AM
Final preparations underway as NC State Fair readies to open its gates
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RALEIGH -- Thursday, the gates will open at this year's state fair. But until then, final preparations are being made before the fun begins.
As people get ready to check out all the rides, food and fun at this year's state fair, inspectors will do a final check to make sure the all rides are good to go.
“They will look at every nut, bolt, and pin before it's open to the public,” said Dolores Quesenberry with the N.C. Department of Labor.
State inspectors have been working around the clock since last week. They're making sure the more than 100 rides have their stamp of approval before people hop on board.
“Anyone coming out to the fair should feel good about the inspection process of North Carolina," said Quesenberry. "They should be confident that they can put their children on the ride and that they will be safe."
There's also a big push to keep a close watch on sanitation. This year, fair officials are limiting contact with animals and adding more handwashing stations after an E. coli outbreak last year affected 25 people.
"This year we're gonna try to prevent the crossover between people and animals," said Jen Nixon with the NC State Fair. "So we're gonna set up some bike racks and some fencing, so when animals are going from Kelley Building to Expo Building for shows, we won't be able to cross their traffic. "
As for the vendors, they're looking to cash in on the crowds. Last year more than 1 million people made their way to the fair. This year, fair officials are hoping to top that number.
Gates open at 3 p.m. and the fair runs through Oct. 21.