Cool-down gives fair organizers hope for a bounce back weekend - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Cool-down gives fair organizers hope for a bounce back weekend


MADISON (WKOW)-- It has been a hot week at the Dane County Fair, not in terms of attendance, but temperature.

Animals at the fair are enjoying royal treatment with several fans working to keep them cool, but food vendors on the other side of the fair have had to endure hot temps and slow sales.

"When it gets above 85-degrees cheese sales tend to taper off a little bit and when you're talking upper 90's then you're hoping for the drink sales. That's pretty much what you have to hope for," food vendor Duane Hickman says.

Seeing high temperatures at the Dane County fair is nothing new. During the fair's 160-year history it has happened countless times.

Last year was one of the worst on record, but organizers say a few cool days that year helped to make up for the extremely hot ones. They're hoping the same thing will happen this year.

"Saturday is a very important day. We always count on it and generally get a strong Sunday," fair manager Scott Bentley says.

The weekend has the power to put them on course to break last year's attendance of 54,000 people or go way off track.

"At this point our expectations are that we'd like to meet last year's attendance. We were down below where we'd like to have been on Friday," Bentley says.

The strong turnout Saturday morning showed signs of hope. Hundreds of families attended Safety Day and other family-friendly activities. Organizers are hoping the weekend's cool down and live music will keep that momentum going.

"We're really excited about having great weather for Saturday and Sunday," Bentley says.

Sunday marks the last day of the Dane County Fair. Gates open at 7:00 a.m. The carnival opens up at noon. 

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