SANDUSKY, OH (WTOL) - In only five weeks, screams will echo across Lake Erie with the opening of Cedar Point.
And while the gates are still closed, state amusement ride inspectors spent the day checking all 70 rides from top to bottom.
Under the Ohio Department of Agriculture, eight roller coaster inspectors with the Amusement Ride Safety Division spend the first four months of the year check over the rides at King's Island then Cedar Point.
The begin with the foundations, the passenger trains and finally the running ride. Each step can take between three to four hours on average.
"We are actually another set of eyes for these guys. Yes we are regulatory, but these guys have excellent staff and a top of the line maintenance facility," said inspector Ron Dean. "So they do a good job of tearing these things apart and putting them back together."
The Department of Agriculture oversees amusement rides because rides were once only found at county and state fairs. But with amusement parks being such an important tourism draw, inspectors work extra hard to ensure the rides run safe and smooth.
"Tourism is a huge, huge part of Ohio's economy, especially in and around Lake Erie," said David Daniels, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. "So we want to maintain the absolute and best safety record that we possibly can. We want people coming and enjoying Lake Erie, and we want them enjoying Cedar Fairs."
Opening weekend for Cedar Point is May 6-7.