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Police: Panic at state fair caused by ‘noise-making devices,’ not gunfire

Kentucky State Fair
Courtesy of Kentucky State Fair
Kentucky State Fair

Authorities say it was noise-making devices and not gunfire that caused panic at the Kentucky State Fair Saturday night.

In a statement, Kentucky State Police said an initial investigation of the incident suggests a group caused the panic by setting off “noise-making devices,” which led fair-goers to believe shots had been fired.

KSP said they have found no physical evidence that a weapon was discharged. Authorities arrested nine people: three adults and six minors. Charges include disorderly conduct, menacing, possession of stolen property, and possession of a handgun.

After a similar panic in 2019, the fair board started requiring fair-goers under age 18 to be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older if they’re entering the grounds after 6 p.m. The board also added more lighting throughout the fairgrounds and increased police presence during peak hours.

The fair is open and under normal operations.

Jess Clark is WWNO's Education Desk reporter. Jess comes to the station after two years as Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting for North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC (Chapel Hill). Her reporting has aired on national programs, including NPR's All Things Considered, Here & Now from WBUR, and NPR's Weekend Edition.
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