Ohio State Fair

photo of Sale of Champions
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

After a 12-day run that included lower attendance and a deadly accident involving a midway ride, the Ohio State Fair is over. There was some good news in the annual closing day event, the Sale of Champions.

Ohio State Fair
WIKIPEDIA

Last week's tragedy at the Ohio State Fair that killed one fair goer and injured seven others has raised a lot of questions about amusement rides. WOSU's Adora Namigadde looks closer at one of those questions: government inspections and regulations for carnival-style rides that vary state-by-state. 

A week after the fatal accident on the ride, the Fire Ball, many fair-goers aren't deterred.

“I'm here to ride all the rides, the ones that are open at least,” Dylan Bryant says.  

Ohio State Fair
WIKIPEDIA

Some rides at the Ohio State Fair have re-opened and taken new riders after a nearly two-day break. 

Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides at the state fair to be shut down after a catastrophic ride malfunction Wednesday evening killed one and injured seven others. This afternoon, the state fair reopened three rides considered to be low-impact -- Kiddieland, SkyGlider and Giant Slide.

Dylan Bryant said he saw the malfunction on Snapchat, but that he's still riding rides because these malfunctions are rare. 

photo of Gov. John Kasich at state fair
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

State investigators are continuing to examine the Ohio State Fair ride that broke apart, killing one person and leaving seven others injured. Gov. John Kasich isn’t ruling out the possibility that this may have been an unavoidable accident.

The air was full of the typical sounds of the Ohio State Fair, except for the eerie absence of the rides as they stood still. All rides are shut down as the State Highway Patrol carries out its investigation into the “Fire Ball” a giant pendulum that swings riders up to 40 feet into the air.

photo of Summit County Fair logo
SUMMIT COUNTY FAIR

Summit County Fair Director Howard Call says he is confident in the safety of attendees at his fair.

A ride accident at the Ohio State Fair killed one and injured seven others. yesterday

As with the state fair, rides here are inspected daily under state law, and Call says those at the Summit fair have been accident-free for 24 years. And there’s a key difference between rides at the Ohio State Fair and the Summit County Fair.

photo of rides closed sign
WOSU

Gov. John Kasich calls it the worst tragedy in the history of the Ohio State Fair. One person was killed and seven were injured, three of them critically, in a catastrophic ride malfunction.

All rides were shut down shortly after 7:20 p.m., after a malfunction on the Fireball, which spins and swings riders 40 feet into the air. A Columbus fire battalion chief said a row of seats snapped off.  

The ride had been inspected by the four-person inspection team, led by Michael Vartorella.

logo of Ohio State Fair
OHIO STATE FAIR

This year’s Ohio State Fair ended up just short of a record.

More than 921,000 people to the state fairgrounds – that’s the second largest fair attendance since the event was shortened from 17 days to just under two weeks in 2004. But that attendance figure is well short of the more than 982,000 fairgoers last year, and breaks a three year streak of attendance records starting in 2013. Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler isn't disappointed:

"Absolutely not. This was our second best fair ever in a 12 day fair. And look at all that hot weather that we had."

photo of Governor John Kasich
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Thousands of people are pouring into the Ohio State Fair for opening day.

That included Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich had his own projects to show off during his annual tour of the fair.

Kicking off the Ohio State Fair was Gov. John Kasich’s first big event following the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And although the convention is over, a single heckler tried to interrupt Kasich’s speech during the opening ceremony, calling him to endorse Donald Trump.

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