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High temperatures impact Mason County Fair goers

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 11:43 PM EDT
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MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The hot week we’ve been experiencing is not over yet, and officials in Mason County are hoping many take hydrating seriously.

“The heat index was probably around 100 degrees, give or take, which is pretty extreme for people who are out all day at the fair,” Mason County Emergency Medical Services Director Elisabeth Lloyd told WSAZ about the recent heat.

Lloyd said on Wednesday, there were about five people at the fair who suffered from heat exhaustion; one even went to the emergency room.

“We went and picked them up in our side-by-side and brought them back (to the EMS booth), and then the goal is to cool them down,” she said. “We use cold wash cloths, ice packs -- we have popsicles in there and air conditioning, which is key.”

Lloyd said signs of heat exhaustion include sweating, severe weakness and not thinking clearly.

Benny Hoffman, president of the Mason County Fair Board, opened the fair two hours later on Thursday due to the heat advisory.

“We’re encouraging everybody to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, and all of our chairman -- they’re keeping a close eye on all the animals in the barn,” Hoffman told WSAZ. “So far we haven’t had any issues with anything (today).”

Hoffman said he noticed a drop in attendance this year and believes it’s due to the weather, specifically, the heat and humidity.

“So far it’s not been drastically down, but our attendance has been a little lower than what we experienced in 2019.”

‘’We really want (people) to come to the fair but we also want them to prepare for the heat,” Lloyd said. “Drink a lot of water before you come, drink a lot of Gatorade, bring it with you, make sure you have what you need to stay hydrated.”

The fair’s last day will be this Saturday.

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