Every year at the annual N.C. State fair, fairgoers participate in traditions and events that have become staples in the lives of North Carolinians. From deep fried Oreos to the Ferris wheel, fairgoers can choose from a variety of things to do.
An annual event that has recently made news in a not so positive light is the tractor pull event.
|N.C. State Fair: Tractor pull|
"I did not actually watch the event but I knew it was going on from the loud engine sounds every ten minutes or so," said N.C. State senior, Jelani Allen. "Every time I would hear the engine revving it wouldn't take long for the sky above me to be filled with dark smoke.
That cloud of smoke that frequently filled the air at this year's fair proved to be troublesome last year for some fairgoers. According to the News & Observer, a couple of young teenage girls experienced irritation in their lungs and noses and had to visit Urgent Care clinic for lung issues caused by tractor fumes that blew over the sky to the ride area.
"We're looking at things we can do," said Brian Long, an agriculture department spokesman told. "We have a limited amount of space, but we do our best to arrange everything in such a way that makes (rides) accessible to the visitors and operators as well."
Agricultural officials explored possible solutions to deviate the smoke from the general ride area and from being inhaled by ride-goers.
"The smoke was not bothersome for me but I did see a lot of younger kids asking their parents what the smoke was or if there was a fire," said Allen. "It was obvious when the event was going on because the tractor smoke was thick and blew over from the wind"
Fair officials had a lot to deal with this year as they combated the E.coli outbreak that happened at last year's fair. They tried their best to keep the diesel smoke in the Grandstand area.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Long said that the tractors that generate the most smoke will be the tractors ran earlier in the day because of the air conditions.
The earlier in the day, the less conducive the air will be for lingering smoke.
As stated in the Charlotte Observers, Long said that the fair was going to monitor air and smoke conditions during the tractor pull events and have EMS and first aid staff close by in case of an emergency.
Although there were precautions taken, the tractor pull is a staple event at the N.C. State fair and officials were not willing to eliminate the event all together.