SALEM, Va. – After a shooting injured two people on the opening night of the Salem Fair, law enforcement and organizers put new rules into effect to ensure visitor safety throughout the remainder of the fair.
Salem Fair Manager, Carey Harveycutter, says Salem Police and fair organizers decided to increase security in response to the shooting Wednesday night which left two people injured and one minor in custody.
“I’m sure some people will be cautious, and if that’s what they feel, then that’s what they should do. We’ve boosted our security, we had metal detectors at all the gates,” said Harveycutter.
Another new rule which went into effect this year is children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A rule which organizers are doing their best to enforce.
“We’ve put security in the later hours of the fair walking the carnival midway. If you see a group, you ask where their parents or guardians are, you match them up, you stay with them and they’re supported by police. If you can’t match, our staff will ask them to leave and then the police will support us,” said Harveycutter.
Harveycutter says there have been one or two instances where they have had to ask people to leave as a result of enforcing these rules. But Wednesday night’s shooting hasn’t stopped people from attending, as organizers say the fairgrounds were packed over the holiday weekend.
“Yesterday, July the Fourth was probably the top two Sunday’s that we’ve ever had at the fair for the number of people on the property,” said Harveycutter.
The fair continues daily through July 11. As for people who bought ride wristbands in advance and are now questioning refunds, organizers say they should have an answer in the coming weeks.