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Fair association, law enforcement hard at work to make sure this year's fair is safe

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner says they've been working with fair workers for months to make sure things go smoothly this year.

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The Ferris Wheel at the Red River Valley Fair.
Mike McGurran / WDAY News
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FARGO — The day before the Red River Valley Fair returns to town is a busy one for the staff. Most arrived for last-minute preparations at 5 a.m., and will be there until midnight.

Even though the fair only comes once a year, preparing for it is almost a year-round job, according to Red River Valley Fair association CEO Cody Cashman.

"A lot of people always ask, 'what do you do the rest of the year?' We are planning the fair constantly," Cashman said. "In fact, we will plan next year's fair at this year's fair."

He says the staff is putting in long hours making sure all the rides are in working order, and everything is clean.

They've also been working with the Cass County Sheriff's Office and the West Fargo Fire Department for months to ensure they've prepared to keep the fair safe and secure.

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"That's our first and foremost most important thing here at the fair is safety, and then fun," Cashman said.

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner says preparation on their end started months ago.

"Preparing them for active threat situations, evacuation situations, if we need to evacuate people out here in (an) emergency, that we can do that," Jahner said.

Jahner says they'll also have medical staff ready on the scene, and shelters ready in case of severe weather. They've also gone over crowd control and emergency weather response with the fair staff, and he said law enforcement will be present throughout the fair's 10-day run.

Jahner says they look at previous years when putting together safety plans for the fair, saying it's important to prepare for the worst, even while expecting the best.

"If people are going to come out here they should, hopefully, feel safe, and that we've got good plans in place if something should happen that we can keep them safe," Jahner said.

Last month had the lowest average wind speed for any January of the past 25 years.

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