Bristol Fair opens its gates, new city ordinance used for ride inspections

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – A new Bristol, Tennessee ordinance requiring extra inspections on amusement devices is being used for the first time at a major event this weekend.

That ordinance ensures every ride at the Bristol fair be looked at by a certified inspector.

Jonathan Brooks is President of the Wagner Consulting Group, a third party independent amusement device inspection company. He spent hours inspecting every ride at the inaugural Bristol fair.

“We pretty much look at everything from the foundation right up to the seat that you sit in,” Brooks said.

It comes after the city of Bristol, TN passed an ordinance earlier this year, ensuring that when amusement rides set up shop, they are thoroughly looked at by a certified inspector.

“We want to make sure that when those things come into town whether a fair or a carnival that the set up is looked at,” said Code Administrator for the city, Karl Cooler.

The decision came on the heels of an accident at the Greene County fair last summer, after three girls were injured after falling out of a Ferris wheel.

“They wanted to err on the side of safety for the residents of Bristol,” Cooler said.

Before city leaders passed this ordinance, Cooler said, “We would have to rely on the state of Tennessee and their annual inspection, and we just felt like what that does is look at the overall condition of the rides wherever they are, but it doesn’t take into account the complexities of set up and tear down and moving to another site.”

During Brooks’ inspection at the fair, he said he didn’t find anything major.

“Little things like a head rest being loose,” Brooks said.

All of the items noted were fixed before the gates opened.

“The fact that we’re doing this for the first time it puts into the forefront for the city of Bristol that we are concerned about safety,” Cooler said.

For ticket information and a full list of what to expect at the inaugural Bristol fair, head to their website

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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