BUCYRUS — The heat and humidity over the last few days may play a role in overall fair attendance. It did Thursday.
“It was senior citizen day and we were down by 200 seniors, which is fine because we don’t want anyone getting sick because of the heat,” said Tom Laughbaum of the Crawford County Fair Board.
Laughbaum said attendance overall for Thursday was down by 300 people over the same day last year.
The high temperatures must not have made a big difference to people wanting to attend the harness races Wednesday and Thursday evening though.
“The wagers for Wednesday were at $7,569 and for Thursday, the total was $6,100. Those figures are nearly double compared to last year,” said Laughbaum. “There were 11 races on Wednesday night and 12 on Thursday.”
The board made the decision to offer horse racing on two evenings this year compared to one evening last year.
“The number of horses racing has increased. People are getting back into it again such as breeders and jockeys. That has a positive impact on the economy because there are things like more feed being bought, more equipment being purchased,” Laughbaum said.
Fair goers have been keeping cool by staying hydrated.
“Our trailer is owned by Linda Quinn and we have had it for the past two years, but the trailer has been at this fair for many years. This is our second year at this fair and we are seeing an increase in the number of slushies and milkshakes we are serving ,” said Jordan McFarland of Mansfield as he was working in the slush drink trailer across from the Junior Fair Board office Friday afternoon.
DJ Kissell, of Fun Food Concessions, said that although he sells ice cream and slushies at his trailer, customers are still ordering one popular item that isn’t cool, nor wet.
“We are selling a lot of fried Oreos. People really like those and are ordering them,” said Kissell.
Business is actually down a little for third-generation lemonade vendor Britney Nordstrom.
“We were actually busier last year. I think less people are coming out to the fair because of the heat,” said Nordstrom of Thirst Aid.
Down the midway in the goat barn, Senior Showmanship and Skillathon winner Kendyl Guinther was getting her goats ready to head to the show arena.
“We have a total of 14 animals at the fair this year,” said Guinther, of the combination of lambs, goats and rabbits she and her little brother are showing. “We are making sure they have plenty of water and fans. It is also nice to have the end pen by the doorway.”
The newer building that houses the goats is also the temporary home to several hogs. Katelyn Long was busy spraying her hogs down with a squirt bottle to keep them cool.
“Even with the heat, they are easy going,” she said of Hallie and Slinks as they relaxed in their pen, enjoying the little blasts of water.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras