Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Chris White (DOL), 518-457-5519,

August 18, 2014

State Agencies Remind New Yorkers about Amusement Ride Safety as the Great New York State Fair Draws Near

The New York State Departments of Labor and the State Agriculture and Markets today reminded those attending the 2014 Great New York State Fair to be safe as they explore the more than 60 exciting rides this year at the new Wade Shows Midway.

“With our new partner Wade Shows, this year’s fair promises a wide range of entertainment for all fairgoers,” said State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “Ride inspectors and operators are also working to ensure the highest level of safety on rides.”

“We have a new Midway operator at the 2014 Fair, and that in itself is very exciting as Wade Shows will be bringing some of the greatest thrill rides in the country to Syracuse in less than one week’s time,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.  “We are leaving nothing to chance at this year’s Fair when it comes to the safety of fairgoers on the Midway.  Working in tandem with our partners at the Department of Labor, we have great procedures in place to protect amusement riders and ensure the safety of fairgoers throughout the 12-day Fair.”

State inspectors enforce amusement ride safety measures at events across New York including the State Fair.  In addition to the daily work to ensure ride safety performed by State inspectors, the Great New York State Fair annually utilizes the services of an independent inspector from Compseq out of an abundance of caution for the safety of fairgoers.  Also, this year the Fair’s new Midway operator, Wade Shows, will employ Wagner Consulting to perform independent inspections of the Midway rides throughout the 12 day Fair.

The Department of Labor inspects all rides at Fairs across New York State before they are set up for structural issues, after they are set up for assembly, and daily when they are in operation. 

In March 2013, the Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that Wade Shows was selected as the newest operator of the Midway at the Great New York State Fair.  Wade was selected after an extensive Request for Proposals (RFP) process that began in the summer of 2013.

"Producing the best midway in the country for the Great New York State Fair involves not only bringing a spectacular array of rides and attractions but also a deep commitment to the safety of our midway guests,” said Frank Zaitshik, president of Wade Shows.

Inspectors offered these guidelines for parents and riders to follow in order to avoid injury:

  • Listen to the ride operator's instructions.
  • Read and follow posted warnings and instructions.
  • Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
  • Don't reach toward fences or barriers.
  • Secure loose clothing and long hair.
  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Don't stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched.
  • Avoid horseplay.
  • Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.

For Parents with Children:

  • Don't assume a ride is safe for children if you hold onto them.
  • Parents should never ride go-carts or bumper cars with children on their laps.
  • Observe age, height and weight restrictions.
  • Talk to children so they know what to expect of the ride.
  • If your child gets scared, ask (if possible) that the ride be stopped.
  • If your child is afraid of the ride, it's probably best not to put her or him on it.
  • Not all rides are appropriate for all children, even if they do meet the height requirements.
  • Water rides require additional attention.
  • Walk, don't run, on pool decks and surroundings.

Among the new rides at this year’s fair:

  • The RC-48 roller coaster, which will be the largest roller coaster ever to appear at the Fair. Wade Shows owns the two largest traveling coasters in America and the RC-48 is one of them.
  • The Crazy Mouse roller coaster, which adds a spinning seat to the thrills of going up and down the coaster rails.
  • The Enterprise, a spinning, tilting kind of Ferris wheel that falls into the super-spectacular category and which will mark a return of the ride to the Fair.
  • Mega Drop, the world’s largest portable drop tower.
  • Two Kiddielands, one of which will include Wade’s newest ride for younger thrillseekers, Charlie Copter.

Ride safety is achieved when inspectors check the rides, operators follow manufacturers’ guidelines and riders follow the posted rules.

The New York State Fair, operated by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1, 2014.

This year, the Midway for the first time will offer ride-all-day wristbands every day of the Fair. Advance sale wristbands are priced at $20, providing a $5 savings over regular weekday prices and $10 over weekend prices. Fairgoers who plan to spend four days or more at the Midway can save even more by buying the $70 Mega Pass, which is good every day of the Fair.

Wade Shows will offer free rides from 10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. on opening day, August 21.

The Department of Labor's ride safety web site ( offers parents and children helpful tips on ride safety. The site also makes it simple to e-mail the agency to report unsafe conditions.

For more information about the Great New York State Fair, visit:

2014 Press Releases