AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Tri-State Fair and Rodeo will start on Friday, with some increased security measures this year.

After the shooting at the fair last year, the Tri-State Exposition and the Potter County Sheriff’s Office are taking extra safety precautions.

PCSO is heading up security at the fair, and Lt. Dustin Langwell said an armed security company will work the gates. He said certified Texas peace officers provided by the sheriff’s office will work security inside of the gates.

“Also, this year, we’ve got metal detectors. Everybody will have to go in through a metal detector,” Langwell said. “If there’s any kind of metal on you, then you’ll go over to another line to get wanded and go through another metal detector.”

Langwell said if nothing sets off the metal detectors, people will be able to enter without any delays.

CEO of the Tri-State Exposition, Brady Ragland, said this is the first year they have used walk-through metal detectors.

“So, it’ll be a little bit of a learning curve at first. I hope folks understand that but we’re going to do the best that we can to get folks through in an efficient manner, but even more importantly, in a safe manner,” Ragland said. “We want folks to get in and experience the fair as fast as possible but we also want to do it as safely as possible. So we’ll be trying to refine that process throughout the week.”

Langwell said the fair is also continuing its clear bag policy.

“So, any kind of backpack purses or anything will need to be clear, before entering into the fair,” he added.

According to Ragland, their insurance policy has changed and this year, the fair will close its gates at 10:30 p.m. each night.

“Just like we have the last 100 years, a top priority is to keep the fairgoers safe,” Ragland said. “We’ve got great fair food, we’ve got some great entertainment, some carnival rides. Everything you know and love about the fair will be here with hopefully a few new twists. We’re just excited to get kicked off this Friday and hope everyone to come out and join us.”

Click here to see a full schedule of events for the 2023 Tri-State Fair and Rodeo.

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