50th State Fair Rides Undergo Close Inspections

AIEA, Oahu (KHNL) - E.K. Fernandez is putting the finishing touches on the 50th State Fair as it gets ready to open its doors this weekend.

The local carnival company puts together this fair every year. They say each year they go above and beyond to ensure a fun, but safe time for everyone.

Joan Kuhlmann has a big responsibility when it comes to making sure rides are safe.

"Looking at the cracking - looking at the packing, making sure everything's intact," says Kuhlmann as she checks the Zipper Machine.

Her inspections are to better insure the safety for the thousands of fair-goers who will soon ride it.

Kuhlmann and Joe Bixler are from Seattle. Officials with E.K. Fernandez fly them here every year to inspect the rides.

They spend anywhere between half an hour and half a day taking a look at each ride. They spent three hours alone inspecting the equipment on the ferris wheel.

"We see them in pieces on the trailer as they're putting them together, checking all the components making sure they're meeting the manufacturers' requirements," says Bixler.

Technically, E.K. Fernandez doesn't need the inspectors approval to run the carnival. They do it, for their own peace of mind.

"Our safety standards are the highest," says E.K. Fernandez owner Scott Fernandez.

"We live in this community. People that runs these rides have family here, we train them very, very well."

So far, E.K. Fernandez has a good track record. The Seattle inspectors say they're one of the safest carnival operators in the country.