Updated: 05/15/2014 8:33 PM
Created: 05/15/2014 4:43 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
Carnival season is about to kick off, which means inspection season is kicking off too. Hundreds of fairs and carnivals throughout the state will be checked out before the fun starts.
At Valleyfair in Shakopee, they're getting ready for opening weekend. Their ride and electrical inspections, which are done by a third party, are already all taken care of. On top of that, Valleyfair's own staff inspects the rides daily.
"We take safety very seriously," said Valleyfair's Robin Stinett. "It's just something that is at the forefront of what we do every day throughout all facets of the park."
For temporary fairs, like Springfest in Coon Rapids, insurance companies typically inspect the rides. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industries inspects the electricity.
"We're insuring that the power that's coming to these rides, long before anyone thinks about stepping on them, is safe," said Department of Labor and Industries Spokesperson James Honerman. Basically, the goal is to eliminate any potential for shock hazards or -- given all of the power cords -- tripping hazards too.
You might remember back in 2012 when the Stratosphere at the State Fair stopped several times with people on it. Turns out the ride was pulling more power than the charger was putting out. Inspectors aim to make sure that doesn't happen elsewhere. They'll go through the same process hundreds if not thousands of times throughout the summer all over the state.
Bottom line, you may not realize it, but safety always comes first. Once that's checked off, we can get back to the good stuff.
"Once we approve them and they're ready to go," said Honerman, "then they can turn the power on and the fun can begin."