HUTCHINSON, Kan. — North American Midway is a big part of the Kansas State Fair each year. The company provides plenty of rides to make up the Midway.
Pat Repp, manager of the Midway in Hutchinson, talked about how tough it is to get all the rides in place.
“It’s quite complicated. We probably have 45 or 46 rides on the Midway,” Repp said. “We came out of two locations in Illinois, one in Wisconsin and one in Missouri, so we all joined here for this event. It required almost 55 semi trucks and trailers of loads to get here. It’s quite an undertaking quite frankly to get everything here and the people and with the Labor Day holiday being before the fair, you kind of lose a day.”
In other words, it normally takes about five days to get everything in place and set up.
With some injuries occurring on rides at different venues across the country, you may be wondering how safe the rides are at the fair. Repp says they were inspected by the state, but they also have daily inspections for each ride on the grounds.
“Each ride operator has a check sheet daily. That ride cannot open until the check sheet is turned in a daily inspection,” Repp said.
Customer safety is a priority, but Repp must also ensure the safety of workers. “Just as important as the patrons are our employees,” Repp said. “They’re working around heavy machinery and there could be injuries and there have been at different carnivals and what not, but you know, we make sure they have their hard hats on if they’re climbing, they gotta have harnesses on. Safety not only for our customers, but also for our employees is utmost for us.”
The North American Midway is the largest traveling amusement park in the world.