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Miami-Dade Youth Fair officials prepare for opening

99 rides to operate at Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo

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MIAMI – The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair kicks off on Thursday, bringing even more rides for families to enjoy.

This year, 99 rides will be operating at the fair, and on Wednesday inspectors were on site to make sure each ride was operating safely.

"Each one (ride) is inspected by private inspectors before the state of Florida's Department of Agriculture inspectors, and then the in-house area supervisors inspect their rides every day, and I inspect some rides each day," said Mike Hupulo, North American Midway director of safety.

A yellow sticker is displayed on each ride as proof of its inspection.

The fair's CEO Bob Hohenstein said a few things will be different this year.

"We're going to go to 21 day operation," said Hohenstein. "We have been 18 days for many many years. We're looking forward to a great 21-day run here in Tamiami Park."

The fair opens Thursday and runs through April 5. The fair will be closed March 16, 17, 30 and 31.

Miami-Dade residents voted in November to give Florida International University the same exemption to the county charter as the Youth Fair has to develop buildings and commercial ventures on county parkland.

The Youth Fair is working with the county, which holds its 85-year lease, to find a site for relocation.

The fair had been held at Tamiami Park for more than 40 years.

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