Not-so-fair weather hurt­ing fair at­ten­dance

Op­pres­sive heat, harsh storms hit an­nual event

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— The last two days of the Ce­cil County Fair prom­ise to be drier than the first seven have been, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

“There will be nu­mer­ous show­ers overnight,” Steve Pfaff, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist at Mt. Holly, N.J., said Thurs­day af­ter­noon. “The bulk of it will fall into Fri­day morn­ing.”

Pfaff added Ce­cil County is un­der a flash flood watch un­til noon Fri­day be­cause of heavy down­pours with strong show­ers.

Al Miller, fair board pres­i­dent, said this is more rain than typ­i­cally falls dur­ing the fair.

“We’ve had a washout like

FAIR HILL

on a Wednes­day night,” he said.

Sev­eral days of rain, how­ever, has hurt at­ten­dance for the 63rd fair, Miller re­ported.

“We had to shut down early Mon­day night,” he said said. “Satur­day night it was bad, but we re­cov­ered.”

The Satur­day storm, which in­cluded rain and strong wind gusts, de­stroyed some ven­dor tents and dam­aged oth­ers.

An­other down­pour struck Thurs­day af­ter­noon as heavy rain fell for nearly an hour.

Then there was the heat. Even those ac­cus­tomed to work­ing out­doors found this week’s heat wave op­pres­sive.

“There was no­body on the rides un­til 5 p.m. Satur­day,” Miller said. “The ride seats were hot. It was bru­tal.”

Be­cause of the heat, the de­ci­sion was made to de­lay the open­ing of the Degeller Amuse­ments mid­way un­til 5 p.m. on Sun­day, try­ing to take ad­van­tage of the cooler hours.

“We’ll just keep go­ing,” Miller said. “The heat and every­thing has taken its toll.”

How­ever, there are no re­ports of ill­ness or in­jury due to the weather, which Miller found amaz­ing.

“That 20-by-20-foot tent with air con­di­tion­ing has been a bless­ing,” Miller said, thank­ing Steve Moon from Moon Ser­vices for of­fer­ing the cool­ing tent to fair pa­trons. “It was a ben­e­fit for us to have that.”

Un­der grey, damp skies and with the threat of ap­proach­ing storms, de­mo­li­tion derby cars be­gan to ar­rive at the fair­grounds Thurs­day af­ter­noon. The de­mo­li­tion derby is al­ways the most pop­u­lar at­trac­tion with heats Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day night and Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“We’ll get cars wrecked,” Miller said, not­ing that only heavy rain or light­ning would have any ef­fect. “We’ve got three days to wreck the cars, so we’ll find a way.”

Call­ing the Ce­cil County Fair “the best deal around,” Miller said the $5 adult ad­mis­sion is not re­fund­able if the weather re­fuses to co­op­er­ate. The fair of­fice has fielded calls from peo­ple want­ing a free ticket or a re­fund be­cause the rain short­ened their fair ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Once you pay the $5, you’re here,” he ex­plained.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Even run­ning through the rain does not keep this young lady from get­ting drenched Thurs­day af­ter­noon at the Ce­cil County Fair.

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