FARGO — The day before the Red River Valley Fair returns to town is a busy one for staff. Most arrived for last minute preparations at 5am, and will be there until midnight.
Even though the fair only happens 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 constantly planning the fair,” Cashman said. “In fact, we will plan next year’s fair at this year’s fair.”
He says staff spend long hours making sure all rides are in working order and everything is clean.
They have also been working for months with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the West Fargo Fire Department to ensure they are prepared to provide security for the fair.
“It’s our most important thing here at the fair first, is safety and then fun,” Cashman said.
Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner said preparation on their side began months ago.
“Preparing them for active threat situations, for evacuation situations, if we need to evacuate people here in (an) emergency, we can do that,” Jahner said.
Jahner says they will also have medical personnel ready on the scene and shelters ready in case of bad weather. They also went over crowd control and emergency weather response with fair staff, and he said law enforcement would be present throughout the 10 days of the fair.
Jahner says they look to previous years when developing security plans for the fair, saying it’s important to prepare for the worst, even expecting the best.
“If people are going to come here, they should hopefully feel safe and we have good plans in place should anything happen so we can keep them safe,” Jahner said.