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Not so fair weather: South Florida Fair workers set up rides in rough conditions

Event begins Friday
Worker helps set up the Ferris wheel at the South Florida Fair. Jan. 9, 2024.png
Posted at 8:04 PM, Jan 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 04:01:06-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Weather is working against crews trying to put rides together at the South Florida Fair, which opens later this week.

They've been hit with strong winds and light rain throughout the day.

At any given time, there are 150 to 200 crew members working solely on more than 60 rides.

A typical day starts around 8 in the morning and ends around 6 p.m. But when the weather hits, it may extend the day considerably.

If it's raining, they'll work but if there's lightning, they will come back later to work on them.

"We're in the outdoor business so this is something we've been doing for years and years and years," Gary Zaitshik said. "And we're prepared for this type of weather when it gets windy. It's not really going to deter us from doing the job. What we will do is some of our fun umbrellas 20 feet in diameter we'll hold off on putting the canvas on that."

Gary Zaitshik says the toughest job to set up is the Ferris wheel. Jan. 9, 2024
Gary Zaitshik says the toughest job to set up is the Ferris wheel.

The toughest job is the Ferris wheel.

"There are guys up there on that ride and they can be anywhere from 50 feet to 80 feet up in the air," Zaitshik said. "They have harness protection on. So, they're familiar with what they have got to do and they do it safely."

The fair opens Friday and runs through Jan 28.