By Stacy Jacobson
LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Fair President Dennis Lott knows the meaning behind the flashing lights and shiny rides of the Coastal Carolina fair.
"For a lot of people it's that annual tradition. It gives them the opportunity to leave their problems behind for a few minutes," Lott said.
The fair considers keeping people safe a priority, he said.
"We recognize that not only for patrons, but workers - We like to consider ourselves to be the safest fair anywhere. In fact, that's part of our logo," Lott said.
The fair works with Wagner Consulting to do its inspection work.
Owner Jonathan Brooks has inspected fairs around the country for more than 30 years.
"We pretty much check everything from A to Z," Brooks said.
Checks include looking for scratched fiberglass and missing bolts. They also ensure the speed is set correctly on each ride.
"I've got two kids at home. If I'll put my children on it, I'll certainly allow them to put their children on it. The way I go about this is that if I wouldn't put my children on it, I wouldn't allow anybody else to put their children on it," Brooks said.
But the inspectors can't control everything. Safety also depends on fair patrons, he said.
"Each ride out here has a height requirement. If your child isn't big enough to ride the ride or too small to ride the ride, that's something parents need to be aware of," Brooks said.
"Come out to the fair, ride rides, see entertainment, eat food and sort of let the cares go," Lott said.
Inspectors will be at the fair throughout the course of its 11-day run. Fire departments, law enforcement and EMS will also be present.
The fair starts Thursday Oct. 25 at 3 p.m.