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As fair approaches, officers make security preparations

Thousands of people will head to the Eastern Idaho Fair Grounds this weekend for the fair festivities; but with the crowds come some dangers.

About 10,000 people live in Blackfoot and every night of the fair, between 20-25,000 people will walk through the gates.

“It’s probably our busiest time of the year,” said Craig Rowland, Bingham County Sheriff.

From food to fun, the Eastern Idaho State Fair is one of the most popular events in the region; but get that many people in one location, and officers said it’s a recipe for crime.

“You get people that get inside and drink too much and they want to have a good time and they cause problems for the fair security people,” said Rowland.

More than 40 officers make up the fair security team along with over a dozen cameras that keep an eagle eye on the fairgrounds.

If fair security can’t contain a situation, Bingham County steps in to work the case.

“Once that happens, the fair security people bring them out to our command post over here,” said Rowland. “We’re set up at Park Street Park.

Fair goers mostly get cited for public intoxication, petty theft, or underage consumption.

But officers spend a lot of their time helping lost children reunite with their parents; between 15 to 20 children wander off every day.

Bingham County Deputies can count on 20 hours of overtime during the fair; even the jail gets busy.

“We get a lot of people brought in and we have to get them booked into the jail and arraigned the next day,” said Rowland. “We get a lot of activity. It’s huge.”

The fair kicks off Saturday morning at 10 with a parade.

You can get tickets at the office at the front of the fair entrance. The price is $6 for adults and $2 for kids ages 6 to 11.

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