Crowds show for opening day of 34th annual Salem Fair

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 12:41 AM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The lines were out into the parking lot before the gates opened at 4 p.m. Wednesday for the kickoff of the 34th annual Salem Fair. It was easy to see the Roanoke Valley was excited for the event’s return.

As people waited to head into the fair, WDBJ7 asked what their favorite part of being there each year is.

“The Ferris Wheel,” one kid said.

“The food,” said Darien Jones.

“Just having a really good time,” said Joshua Patrick.

The excitement for the return of the 34th Salem Fair started well before the gates opened.

“It’s just so good to be open again,” said Carey Harveycutter, Salem Fair manager.

The food, rides and games are right where they always are. But after 2021′s opening night shooting, this year there are increased security measures. One of the major changes is anyone under 18 years old will need to be accompanied at all times by adults at least 25 years old.

“They can’t come drop off their two children then run back to the car and leave. It’s just another level of security,” said Harveycutter.

The majority of fair-goers felt the increased safety measures are a positive.

“I feel like it’s a good-step in the right direction to ensure that everyone is safe and that doesn’t occur again this year,” said Patrick.

“I like it better, we left an hour before it happened last year,” said Russell Brizendine.

“Especially bringing the little ones out, you want to be safe,” said Jones.

Overall, the fair organizers expect more than 250,000 people to make their way to the Salem Fair from Wednesday until next Sunday. They look forward to continuing this decade-long tradition.

“It’s just so exciting to see the people returning every year. It’s like a family reunion for us,” said Harveycutter.

It’s also important to remember that if you see something, say something. There are officers on the fair-grounds. Safety is the top priority, but right up there with it is having fun.

For more information on the Salem Fair, you can find its website here.

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