Thrill seekers reassured at McLean Co. Fair - "More likely to ge - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Thrill seekers reassured at McLean Co. Fair - "More likely to get hurt driving."

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Each ride at the McLean Co. Fair undergoes several inspections by different entities before they are given the green light. Each ride at the McLean Co. Fair undergoes several inspections by different entities before they are given the green light.
MCLEAN, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

These kids just want to have fun at the McLean County Fair. And between Ferris wheels, roller coasters and larger amusement rides, there's plenty for them to indulge.

However, that doesn't necessarily help their parents feel any better.

"I am very nervous about it. Very nervous," says Venus Durbin of Rutland. "I hope that they checked them all."

Durbin is showing her son around the smaller ferris wheels, but intends to stay away from the larger rides. 

After what happened in Ohio, some hesitation is justified. But Fantasy Amusements, which controls the carnival, does dozens of inspections, and says there's no need to freak out.

Bill Johnson, President of Fantasy Amusement Company, explains that inspectors on the state, insurance and county level all have to give the rides a pass before anyone steps on. They worry about safety so you don't have to.

"Safety is our main concern. I've closed rides that I probably could've opened, and...It's not about the dollars, it's about the safety," explains Johnson. "No one should be worried - it is safer to go to a carnival and ride at the carnival than to drive here."

Many of the parents we spoke with agree.

"I'm more worried about getting sick," claimed Allison Alcorn of Normal, "but I'm trusting that they've done the maintenance that's necessary."

The McLean County Fair even has a ride similar to the 'Fireball,' the one that broke apart in Ohio. David Ludwig of Colfax watched his kids get on - and off - safely.

"You know, the thought's always on your mind, but if you live your life in fear and worry, you're gonna miss out on a lot of fun stuff," he said.

The McLean County Fair runs from now until Sunday, August 6th. There's plenty to offer, from a demolition derby to the world's largest county 4H fair.

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