ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- One of the largest celebrations in the Shenandoah Valley kicks off in under a week. This year, Rockingham County Fair organizers are bringing in a new safety tool that fits in the palm of your hand yet has a big impact.
Organizers say there's nothing more important than safety. That's why last year they built a new grandstand entrance. They timed it out, and within 15 minutes, 7,000 people got in and out without a problem. This effectively made the grounds safer and more efficient.
This year there's another update to safety, however it doesn't involve new construction.
Instead, it involves the digital world. It's a system involving your cell phone called Alert Media. You sign up to it via a text message. Big-scale emergency situations like an active shooter or a need to evacuate the fair would trigger an alert on your phone. This keeps everyone in the loop immediately.
"We are in the 21st century. We're trying to stay on top of the technology and the digital world. PA systems are good. PA systems are excellent, but the new technology is we have to go digital and we have to do something similar to an amber alert," said Jeff Ishee, Fair Association General Manager.
To sign on to the system. Text the word "subscribe" to 540-835-0856.
Now all of these security measures are to make this a safe family event. You can expect 25 rides, more than 100 exhibits and a brand new children's concert.