With projected high temperatures in the mid-90s and an excessive heat advisory in effect from the National Weather Service through the weekend, Elkhart County 4-H Fair officials, volunteers and local emergency responders have been hard at work, ensuring the safety of all attendees.
Cooling centers are planned for the former Eastern Star building and on the south side of Commercial Building A, near the Hollyhock Entertainment Center.
Misting stations are already in place at Heritage Park and Rotary Boulevard. Visitors in need of a respite from the summer sun are encouraged to cool off in one of several air-conditioned exhibits including the Elkhart County Community Center, Goshen Health Tent, Elkhart County 4-H Fair Museum and Ag Hall.
Fairgoers are encouraged to purchase water bottles from food vendors and refill often. Drinking fountains are available near the medical building and Heritage Park.
According to local health officials, there are a number safeguards designed to reduce the chance of heat-related illnesses. Avoid dehydration, heatstroke and heat exhaustion by limiting physical activity outdoors, staying cool in shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces and drinking plenty of water.
Fairgoers should also be on the lookout for warning signs of heat illness, including:
- nausea or vomiting
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- disorientation or confusion
- muscle weakness or twitches
- cool, moist skin (with heat exhaustion)
- dry, hot and red skin (with heatstroke)
- rapid or weak pulse
- rapid or shallow breathing
(Information provided by Goshen Health)
As the weekend nears, Elkhart County 4-H Fair officials will continue to review the weekend event lineup and making adjustments to scheduled activities. Changes to scheduled events will be announced on the fair’s Facebook account. CLICK HERE to learn more.
While there’s lots to see at this year’s fair, it’s important that visitors take time to ensure they are being proactive about staying hydrated, noted Miranda Muir, General Manager of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
“We are definitely excited to see everyone out enjoying the fair, however it is vital that we all listen to our bodies. Rest when you need rest, drink plenty of water, and most certainly take extra special care of little ones and the elderly,” Muir said. “We hope everyone will take their time and enjoy all there is to see, at a pace that works for them.”
5 TIPS FOR KEEPING COOL
- Drink water. Save the sugary drinks for a cooler day and instead stay hydrated with ice cold water from Famous Food Row. Plus, keep your bottle filled all day by stopping by the drinking fountains located in Heritage Park and near the medical building.
- Get misted. Misting stations are located across the fairgrounds, including on Rotary Boulevard and near Young MacDonald’s Barn. Hit the button for 20 seconds and stand beneath the pedestal as you’re showered with a gentle, cooling mist of water.
- Find a cool treat. From ice cream to snow cones and smoothies to sugar-free lemon shake ups, there are many vendors offering chilled beverages and snacks for sale.
- Locate (and make the most of) a cooling center. The former Eastern Star building is now a cooling center, accessible to all guests. A large cooling tent will also be located on the south side of Commercial Building A, near the Hollyhock Entertainment Center.
- Step inside — and back in time. Another great place to cool down is the air conditioned Elkhart County 4-H Fair Museum. Just a few steps off of Famous Food Row, this is a great place to learn a bit about the fair and enjoy a brief respite from the sun.