As the fun being had at this year’s Jackson County Fair climbs high, so have the week’s blazing temperatures.
With an expected high of 104 degrees in Central Point Friday afternoon, the third day of the annual fair found families seeking ways to stay cool.
Some attendees walked around with umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. Others gathered in the shaded, cooler areas in between rides and found relief in ice-cold lemonades and scoops of shave ice.
“A cold snack is perfect on a day like this,” said Rainbow Hawaiian Shave Ice server Melissa Delgleize. “Our stand definitely gets busier when it’s hotter out here.”
The wait for shave ice was the longest among all food and drink options Friday afternoon, as people lined up to get heaping scoops of ice and one or more of 25 brightly colored flavors to go on top.
“I’d say eating shave ice is really a great way to help stay cool,” Delgleize said.
For many visitors, the most popular place of refuge was a misting machine sitting atop a ladder in the middle of the rides.
“This definitely helps us stay cool while we’re out here,” said Nick Roberts, who was at the fair Friday with his wife, Alisa Roberts, and their two kids: Tyle, 7, and Emma, 3.
Nick Roberts smiled as his family stood in the mist, enjoying the wet, chilled breeze and even opening their mouths for a taste.
“Now, it’s my turn,” he said, walking in to cool himself.
Fair staff member Alan Weston said the staff is “doing their best to make sure people don’t get overheated,” despite the week’s spiking temperatures.
“We have different misters all around, shaded areas for people to go, and we’re really encouraging people to stay hydrated while they’re out here and in the sun,” he said.
To encourage hydration, Weston said, free water is being offered inside the pavilion throughout the course of the fair.
Some of the exhibit buildings are air-conditioned, so there are multiple places people can get indoors and take a break from the sun.
“We want it to be as comfortable as possible and for people to stay safe,” Weston said.
The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Saturday, and until 7 p.m. Sunday, at The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.
Tickets are $12 for ages 13 to 61; $6 for ages 62-74; and free for kids 12 and younger and seniors 75 and older. Admission is free Sunday for all, and parking is free every day. Arm bands for carnival rides are $35.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Central Point is expected to reach 106 degrees Saturday, and 108 degrees Sunday.
“We’ve got a few more days of the fair, so we’re hoping it might cool down enough so people will still come out and enjoy it,” Weston said. “But even if it gets hotter, we’ll be doing what we can to help keep people cool while having fun.”
Reach Mail Tribune reporting intern Morgan Theophil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4485. Follow her on Twitter @morgan_theophil.