PUEBLO — On the eve of the 149th Colorado State Fair, Crabtree Amusements employees are putting the finishing touches on the carnival.
Nearly 70 rides are featured at this year's fair, making for a lot of work in terms of setup. It also keeps the company's inspectors busy, as all rides in Colorado must be licensed and inspected by the state.
But Scott Stoller, general manager for the Colorado State Fair, took the inspections a step further. The fair hired a second company, High Country Amusement Rise Inspections, to provide another and independent inspection.
"Everybody in Colorado that brings their family out to the fair needs to have the peace of mind knowing that these rides aren't just slopped together and put up," Stoller said.
Amid Thursday's final touches, High Country Safety Consultant Bill Hoggard traveled between the rides. He's in search of any bolt, screw or part out of place.
"We check for any inconsistencies. We make sure that they're assembled correctly, and everything's in a place where it ought to be," Hoggard said.
He also checks seatbelts, ensuring they click together properly and are sturdy enough.
The inspections happen every day on every ride.
"These rides are just like your car, things happen. You know, today your brakes work just fine. Tomorrow, they're squeaky, so we check for that," Hoggard said.
The length of the inspection varies based on the ride. Hoggard said some take as little as 15 minutes, while others require an hour or more.
Due to the daily inspections, they ask fair goers to be patient if a ride isn't open by the time they get to the carnival.
"Our object is to keep the seats in the ride, the riders in the seats and everybody goes home happy," Hoggard said.
The Colorado State Fair opens Friday at 10 a.m., while the carnival will open at noon. KOAA News 5 is a proud sponor of the Colorado State Fair.