The Salem Fair takes safety precautions ahead of opening day

Metal detectors and an increased police presence will be in place after a shooting last year

While the fair is known for family fun, many minds are on the safety of the event after a shooting during the second day of the fair last year.

SALEM, Va. – Ride by ride, the Salem Fair is gearing up for another year.

“It’s a family reunion for us because we see the people with the food vendors, with Deggeler Attractions, with the entertainers that come back year after year,” Director of Tourism for the City of Salem, Carey Harveycutter said.

A Southwest Virginia staple, in its 34th year, the fair expects to draw thousands from all over the state.

The event is the biggest source of revenue for the Salem Civic Center, with money being funneled back into city resources.

“Deggeler Attractions contributes to the community, and this year, it’s going to Salem Fire-EMS to assist them with some needed equipment,” Harveycutter said.

While the fair is known for family fun, many minds are on the safety of the event after a shooting on the fair’s opening night last summer.

The Salem Fair ensures that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent any incidents like the one that happened last year.

“It’s a troubled world that we live in today, but with metal detectors at the gates and police on-site in a number of different areas and different methods, we hope that it’s always a safe environment,” Harveycutter said.

The fair will also have one designated entrance and exit. They will also allow no unaccompanied minors without an adult aged 25 or older.

“There are no exceptions to that rule. We are not a babysitting area. We want people to be responsible. This is a great family event, and we want the families to have a good time,” Harveycutter said.

The fair opens Wednesday and will remain open until July 10.

For the full list of hours and attractions, click here.

About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.