Battling the heat at the fair

HARRINGTON — The heat index rose to 108 degrees early Saturday afternoon.

Holding a large strawberry ice cream cone from Vanderwende Farm Creamery at the 100th Delaware State Fair, Dana Probert was fine with it.

“It’s summertime,” the Millsboro resident said. “I’d rather have plenty of sunshine than last year when it was rainy and yucky. When it’s this hot you just drink plenty of water and enjoy it.”

Florida native Kenny Nunn used a “Tampa heat” description while working under his Pet I.D. Tags tent. He was waiting for the sun to rise and increase the shadows.

“If I was on the other side of the street I would be crying the blues, but eventually the shade will take over for the rest of the day,” he said.

“I’ve got fans blowing air, hot air but even that helps a bit. The old saying ‘The heat doesn’t kill you, it’s the humidity.’ It’s the humidity that makes today so rough.”
Fortunately, no heat-related medical issues were reported at the first aid station at mid-afternoon

Waiting for Lego Building contest results, 11-year-old Felton resident Michael Dixon acknowledged he was overdressed.
“Don’t wear a long, long shirt like I did,” he advised while dipping french fries into ketchup under an umbrella.

Sitting with him was mom Erica Parton-Dixon, munching on a funnel cake.
“We kinda had to be here,” Ms. Dixon-Parton said. “When it comes to the fair it’s either going to be really, really hot or there will be downpours. It’s something we just deal with.”

Inside Schabinger Pavilion, barefooted Brady Kish sat in a lawnchair tapping on a cellphone as a large fan blew straight on him. The Milford High Future Farmers of America member kept a close eye on his heifer Ginger, who was pregnant.
“You gotta give them a lot of water because they suck it down quick,” Mr. Kish said. “As long as they have fans and don’t move around too much they’ll be fine. I’m basically taking care of two of them.”

Andy Flint gets first aid in the heat.

Enduring some initial discomfort was the only issue, he said.
“After the first few minutes you get used to it,” Mr. Kish said. “Getting to the sweating, that’s the toughest part.”

‘Hot, hot hot
Accustomed to a drier climate in her Colorado home, Leina Jensen wasn’t getting a great welcome during her first trip to Delaware. Folks were lingering in the cooler Marketplace but not showing much interest into buying her Twisted Designs jewelry.

“They’re so hot that they are grumpy, they don’t want to talk to you,” Ms. Jensen said.

Repeating “hot, hot, hot” as she hustled across John Holloway Street’s asphalt, barefooted Tayllor Jackson jumped in a truck and began chugging a Mountain Dew. She was still happy to be tending to livestock from her Shooting Star Acres farm in Georgetown.

“Working with the cows is always fun,” Ms. Jackson said.
Describing himself as on “a mission to get some ice,” Harrington’s David Jones was happy to transport visitors in his Gator.
“I like helping people out that way,” he said.

After attending 43 state fairs, Mr. Jones was qualified to put historical perspective on the present heat blast.
“It’s much hotter than normal, there’s no question about it,” he said. “It shows there’s something to global warming. You can just check the temperature of the ocean and see home much it has changed.”

Mr. Jones said attendance was down a bit the first couple days, but he expected it to pick up Saturday after the Midway opened.

“There’s so much to see that I’d hate to people miss it,” Mr. Jones said.
Mickey’s Mighty Son stood still as Marydel’s Megan Pleasanton showered the Appaloosa during a short trip from the stall.

“We’ve got three fans inside but horses will get stoved up like older people do if they don’t move around,” Pleasanton said. “Their ankles may swell and they could become colicky.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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