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Published: Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 11:30 PM
Updated: Monday, July 22, 2019 @ 5:27 AM
SPRINGFIELD — The first day of the Clark County Fair kicked off Friday in the midst of blazing temperatures and climbing humidity — but more pleasant weather is on the way as the event continues this week.
Heat indexes in the 100s changed the schedules for livestock hauling, check-ins and weigh-ins and forced fairgoers to find their own ways of cooling off.
In the horse barns, people were busy setting up stalls with fans and hosing horses off outside to keep them cool.
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“With their body hair, they’re a lot hotter than we are,” said recent Greenon grad, Aspen Wyen.
Clark County Fair veterinarian Dr. Dana King said that all of the kids showing animals had been doing a wonderful job at keeping their animals cool. He reported no heat-related issues or illnesses with animals on Friday.
There was a brief moment of panic over in a section of campers, though — when a fuse blew and caused several campers to be without power.
No power means no air conditioning.
“Everything just went off,” said Steve Krempasky, who’s camping at the fairgrounds this week.
Krempasky said the outage — thankfully — only lasted about half an hour, and before he knew it he was back inside at a cool 72 degrees.
There are several “saving graces” around the fair for people to use in the coming days of extreme heat.
“We have a new gazebo building next to our dairy barns,” said 2018 Clark County Fair Queen Emma Hardacre. “We have some hub stages out on the Midway.”
The American Red Cross is offering free water next to the Red Information Booth, and most of the buildings at the fairgrounds are also air conditioned, like the Arts and Crafts and Mercantile Buildings, so fairgoers are welcome to stop there to cool down.
Jennifer Fischer and her family stopped in the Mercantile Building and grabbed a cooling towel provided by the Clark County Library.
She said she had been trading it off between her two daughters, who also picked up a fan and bottle of water along the way.
“Definitely be prepared before you come and know what to expect,” Fischer said. “And don’t be afraid to take those breaks.”
The Clark County Combined Health District issued a Public Health Heat Advisory last week week because of the expected heat indexes on Friday and Saturday.
Health officials advise staying in air-conditioned buildings, wearing loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing and staying hydrated — specifically drinking two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
There are several cooling stations available for people in Clark County to utilize, including Meijer on Hillcrest Avenue, Walmart on Bechtle Avenue and Tuttle Road, the New Carlisle Public Library, Clark County Public Libraries on South Fountain Avenue, Bechtle Avenue, Jamestown Street in South Charleston and Main Street in Enon, McDonald’s on Dayton-Lakeview Road in New Carlisle, the Bethel Twp. Fire Department and the Springfield Soup Kitchen.
HOW TO GO:
The Clark County Fair is open to the public through Friday, July 26.
Gates open every day at 8 a.m.
Midway opens at noon
Admission is $6 and includes parking and admission to concerts and other events.
Ride tickets and wristbands require separate purchase.