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MN State Fair officials work to ensure stage safety

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota State Fair officials say they have safety standards to keep stages as safe as possible for concertgoers and performers, but they can't control the weather.

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Renee Pearson, deputy general manager for entertainment and marketing, says only two of the nine stages on the fairgrounds are temporary structures like the one that collapsed Saturday at the Indiana State Fair. One is the 13,000-seat Grandstand.

Pearson says an experienced staging and lighting company oversees local union stagehands who set up the temporary stages according to written standards, and supervisors are on site throughout the fair to inspect and monitor the structures.

She says fair officials monitor the weather closely and work with a meteorologist who warns of any potential dangers because they know weather is the one thing they can't control.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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