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Trying to keep your cool at the fair

By Staff | Jul 24, 2011

Camille Driscoll

Everyone says “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

For a week’s worth of weather in the upper Midwest, it was the heat and the humidity.

What started on a Friday didn’t break until the next Thursday.

Unfortunately, two of those days, last Tuesday and Wednesday, were the opening days of the Faribault County Fair.

That hurt attendance dramatically for the start of the fair.

During the days on Tuesday and Wednesday, you could fire a cannon across the fairgrounds and not hit anyone. It was a little better in the evenings.

The opening ceremony on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. had an audience of one.

That’s right, only one person was there who didn’t have to be. The rest were fair board members, Blue Earth city and chamber representatives or yours truly, set to photograph the event.

The only people visiting the food stands were the people from the other food stands, wanting to sample each other’s wares.

Likewise for the persons manning the business booths in the commercial exhibit building. Most of them visited each other, just for something to do.

OK, just to be fair, there were some people around. But only a few. A very few.

The Fjord Horse Show was down to a dozen spectators. Amazingly, though, Fair Person of the Year Marlin Krupp stood out in the sun and announced the show all day long.

He looked a little hot.

The carnival workers did too, as they set up the rides. My guess is, there wasn’t any hurry. There weren’t many kids lined up to ride them.

It was 98 degrees with a 119 degrees heat index.

Amazingly, there were people who came out and attended both the 4-H Fashion Revue and the Talent Show – the two events in the grandstand that evening.

Then I realized that probably every person in the stands was related to one of the participants.

Except again for the overly-perspiring Register photographer ­- yours truly.

It was indescribably hot.

The sun sank down far enough in the west that no part of the grandstand was in the shade. And, I guess, whatever breeze there might have been on the fairgrounds itself was blocked by the back side of the grandstand.

Some of the contestants and audience members attempted to fan themselves. It didn’t help.

Sweat was rolling off every inch of my body. I thought, “put a fork in me, cause I’m done.”

One person however, seemed to be as cool as cucumber.

While others nearly melted despite wearing shorts and sandals, Camille Driscoll was dressed in a wool coat and slacks, gloves and boots.

And, she wasn’t breaking a sweat. Despite the fact that it was 98 degrees with a 119 degree heat index.

No, she hadn’t lost her mind from the heat. She was participant in the 4-H Fashion Revue and the coat, gloves and boots were part of her outfit.

Amazingly, she said she really wasn’t all that warm.

Another cool customer was Fair Board President Daryl Murray.

While the rest of us were looking like we just stepped out of the jungle, he seemed to always look freshly showered and wearing a nice pressed shirt.

You would think the guy would be a little concerned about the weather affecting the crowds in a very negative way.

No, he said the weather would turn out all right and the crowds would come.

By Thursday he was right.