Callaway and Cole County fairs thrive despite heat and rain

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - The 90-degree weather isn't keeping people away from the local fairs.

The Kingdom of Callaway County Fair and the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair both kicked off this week, and board members from both fairs said they have not seen a noticeable drop in attendance.

Ronald Cox, president of the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Board, said it is hot every year, and most people are used to it.

He and Brenda McCray, secretary of the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair Board, expect about 20,000 people at the fair this week, which, they said, is pretty typical.

President of the Jefferson City Jaycees Board Erin Wiseman said she expects between 15,000 and 25,000 to come to the fair in Cole County this week, but she said it's different every year, with heat, flooding and the acts booked at the fair as factors affecting attendance.

Wiseman said there was a sizable crowd on Monday and doesn't know if heat affected the number of people who were there.

"There were probably people who did stay home because of the heat," Wiseman said.

If fairgoers do get dehydrated or overheated, both fairs are prepared.

Wiseman said the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair will be selling water and Powerade. And there will be refreshments at the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair, as well.

"We've got Culligan water [employees] here that's going to be giving out water to people who need it, and then we have the fire department that's going to be here in case somebody has an emergency or anything like that," Cox said of the fair in Callaway County.

Cox also said while the heat hasn't really affected attendance, the rain has.

"It's been pretty wet here lately so we've been a little late getting things ready for the fair," Cox said.

McCray said the tracks were wet, which made it more difficult to get them ready for the Kingdom of Callaway County Fair events.

Wiseman said the fairgrounds in Cole County are unique in that they drain well, so wet fairgrounds have not been a problem in Cole County.

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