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updated: 7/21/2011 1:57 PM

Kane County Fair opens; does heat wave matter?

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  • Charlene Whitaker reaches out to touch a barrel as her horse charges around it during a Barrel Racing at the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       Charlene Whitaker reaches out to touch a barrel as her horse charges around it during a Barrel Racing at the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A fan with a hat watches competitive jumping horses work during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       A fan with a hat watches competitive jumping horses work during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Cassidy Hammond of Newark pushes her horse in a juniors barrel racing competition in the grandstand arena during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       Cassidy Hammond of Newark pushes her horse in a juniors barrel racing competition in the grandstand arena during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Bujalka takes a break from running the dart game to put his head in a spray mist during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles. He works for Fantasy Amusements.

       Mike Bujalka takes a break from running the dart game to put his head in a spray mist during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles. He works for Fantasy Amusements.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Chuck Springer of Byron steers his horse through a pole bending competition in the grandstand arena during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       Chuck Springer of Byron steers his horse through a pole bending competition in the grandstand arena during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Fantasy Amusements worker Nick Dus chugs his drink while Zachary Romano lets his settle before taking another slug of a mixture of orange and grape drinks at the Hammer Slammer game during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       Fantasy Amusements worker Nick Dus chugs his drink while Zachary Romano lets his settle before taking another slug of a mixture of orange and grape drinks at the Hammer Slammer game during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A rider finishes her barrel race run in a cloud of dust during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       A rider finishes her barrel race run in a cloud of dust during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • The setting sun makes a spray mist reflect colors as Daniel Olonso, 9, walks under it during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

       The setting sun makes a spray mist reflect colors as Daniel Olonso, 9, walks under it during the first day of the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Kiesel
skiesel@dailyherald.com

Ticket salesman John Bosco succinctly summed up Wednesday's opening of the Kane County Fair.

"The heat is killing the business," said Bosco, of Oswego, a longtime fair worker. "It's very slow."

The fair started at 3 p.m. and admission was only $5, and those 62 and older got in free. There weren't many seniors on hand in the early going, which surprised Bosco because the price was right.

But the weather wasn't. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning and the heat index reached 110 degrees. It was in the 90s last year.

Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, who took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, didn't think the heat would keep people from enjoying the fair.

"We've had summers before where it's hot out," McConnaughay said. "The Kane County Fair has such a rich tradition in this county I think people will come anyway."

Deb Macleod of Elgin has attended the fair about 20 years. Macleod said if it were not for the breeze Wednesday, she may have reconsidered.

While watching her two kids and their friends on the Orbiter ride, Macleod said she loves bringing her kids to have fun. "We came for the rides and admission cost today," Macleod said. "Although, I do like when it starts a little earlier because the kids get a little anxious."

The typical noon start was changed to 3 p.m. to allow more time for the commercial exhibitors to set up, fair board President Larry Breon said.

Breon was not too worried about the heat affecting the fair and said he was more concerned about some forecasts predicting rain this weekend.

The heat didn't seem to bother Grace Shanks, who was at the fair with her family's cattle. A watering system allows the cows to press their nose on a button and fresh water comes out in a bowl. Shanks, who lives in Grand Prairie, Ill., near St. Louis, said it is important to keep the cows hydrated and happy.

Shanks, 20, sleeps in the barn with the cattle at night and said it's really no big deal, even in the heat.

"It's fine as long as you have a comfy place to lay at night," she said. "The days are so long and you're exhausted from the heat that it's not very difficult to sleep."

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