Despite heat and rain, DuPage County Fair rolls along
Rachel Thurwanger of Sycamore cools off hogs with sprays from a water bottle as temperatures flirt with the century mark during opening day of the DuPage County Fair on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Noon Beer and Wine Tent open – Beer Tent
3 p.m. Flea Circus – Ag Ed Tent
3:30 pm Agricadabra Magic Show – Ag Ed Tent
3 to 5 p.m. The Loop Street Team
3:30 p.m. Door #3 Band – Beer Tent
4 p.m. Watermelon Eating Contest – West side of Exhibition Bldg.
4 to 7 p.m. Illinois Bird Dog Rescue – Dog Adoption Area
4:30 pm Exotic Animal Show – Ag Ed Tent
5 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade - Midway
6 p.m. Flea Circus – Ag Ed Tent
6:30 p.m. Agricadabra Magic Show – Ag Ed Tent
7 p.m. FMX-US Freestyle Motocross Championship Series – Grandstand (Sarah Lemond will sing National Anthem)
7 p.m. Cloggin’ Craze – Beer Tent (between motocross events)
8 p.m. Fluid Impulse Band – Ag Ed Tent
8:45 p.m. DeBe Band – Beer Tent
8 a.m. Open Class Horse Show – Horse Show Ring
9 a.m. Church Service - Ag Ed Tent
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. County Craft Faire & Farmers Market – Café Bldg.
10 a.m. My Best Lasagna Contest – Beer Tent
11 a.m. My Best Ghirardelli Chocolate Dessert Contest – Beer Tent
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas in July – Friends of the DuPage County Fair - Cafe
11 a.m. Flea circus – Ag Ed Tent
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a Pittie Rescue – Dog Adoption Area
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Busy Fingers Workshop – Home Ec. Bldg.
11:30 a.m. Agricadabra Magic Show – Ag Ed Tent
Noon Registration for “Pedal Pull” – Livestock Show Ring
Noon Beer and Wine Tent Open
Noon Double Vision - Ag Ed Tent
12:30 pm Harp Twins – Beer Tent
12:30 p.m. Agricadabra Magic Show – Ag Ed Tent
1 p.m. “Pedal Pull” Contest – Livestock Show Ring - Sponsored by Wheatland Plowing Match Association
1:30 p.m. Crops of Illinois – Ag Ed Tent
2 p.m. Demolition Derby – Grandstand (Amanda Copotelli will sing National Anthem)
2 p.m. Rock Star Rodeo – Beer Tent (between demolition derby heats)
2 p.m. “Prize Partners” Awards Ceremony – Ag Ed Tent
4 p.m. Trinity Irish Dancers – Beer Tent
4 p.m. Awards Program for 4-H and Open Class Champions–Ag Ed Tent
4 to 7 p.m. Cry for Help Rescue – Dog Adoption Area
5 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade - Midway
5 p.m. DLD Dance Center - Dance Troupe – Beer Tent
5 to 8 p.m. Open Class Premium Checks available in Open Class Office
5:30 p.m. Exotic Animal Show – Ag Ed Tent
6 p.m. Agricadabra Magic Show – Ag Ed Tent
6 p.m. Double Vision – Beer Tent
6 p.m. Large Livestock Release – Beef, Dairy, Sheep, Goats & Swine
7 p.m. Demolition derby – Grandstand (Amanda Copotelli will sing National Anthem)
7 p.m. DuPage Band – Beer Tent (between and after demolition derby heats)
8 p.m. Release of poultry and rabbits
8 to 9:30 p.m. Release of 4-H, and Junior & Adult Open Class Exhibits
Updated: July 31, 2012 2:19PM
WHEATON — This summer, you just can’t avoid the strange weather.
That is certainly true for the DuPage County Fair, going on now through Sunday at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton.
First off, the violent storms that hit the area a few weeks ago did a good deal of damage to the fairgrounds, making this year’s set-up work all the harder for organizers.
Everything was ready to go by opening day on Wednesday, though. However, Wednesday also saw the temperature zoom into triple digits, making things uncomfortable for visitors and fair animals alike.
Then on Thursday rain showers blew threw the area, making for a rather humid atmosphere at the fair.
Despite that, organizers say that the turnout has been solid so far.
“It’s been a good crowd considering the heat we have today,” Jim McGuire, DuPage County Fair Association president, said on Wednesday.
Besides the carnival section and livestock competition, other attractions at the fair include a magic show in the agricultural education tent, a dog adoption area, musical entertainment, food booths, a beer and wine area and more.
McGuire said there are new features to the fair this year.
“We tried to make it more family-friendly,” he said, noting that fair rides for small children were separated from the rest of the carnival to make both sections more age-appropriate.
“That seems to be well-received,” he said.
Also new this year are exhibits on pollination, a contingent of beekeepers and a farm combine simulator.
Given the ever-changing weather these days, McGuire is staying vigilant for any storm- or heat-related issues.
During Wednesday’s scorching temperatures, for instance, cooling centers were opened in the main exhibition building and the cafeteria.
“We’re keeping a good eye on our employees and the volunteers,” McGuire said. “And we’re making a lot of water runs.”
Several members of the West Suburban Home School Marching Band were unable to make it through the grand opening of the fair due to the heat.
“It was hot,” clarinetist Lisa Burke, said. “Eight or 10 people fainted.”
But other band members attended to them, giving them water and taking them to one of the cooling centers.
“The percussionists have it really hard,” Matt Scarborough, a percussionist himself, said.
Livestock were no less challenged to adapt to the extreme temperatures on Wednesday.
St. Charles resident Leah Horton’s heifer, Roxi, was named Supreme Champion Wednesday.
“I feel good,” she said. “I’m really excited.”
She said Roxi handled the heat “pretty well,” but also stressed that she had competed in far worse conditions, including one fair where temperatures reached 110 degrees.
Horton said that in addition to keeping Roxi under a fan with ice on top of it, she made sure to rinse her down three times a day.
Unincorporated Naperville resident Ken Kemner raises Duroc and Berkshire pigs with son Jacob and daughter Ellery, and he agreed that keeping the pigs hydrated was key.
“Pigs don’t sweat,” he said, “so you’ve got to keep watering them as best you can.”
The main exhibition building seemed to draw many not only for the numerous exhibits, but also as a way to keep cool.
“It’s beautiful in here,” said Naperville Planning and Zoning Commissioner Patty Gustin at the DuPage County Republican booth.
Sarah Strobel and her brother, Tim Claire, provided coffee and said that even on a brutally hot day, the caffeinated beverage was in great demand.
McGuire said that the Spirits of DuPage beer event was a big hit with fairgoers last year and will be back again this year, running from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday.
“We had a nice bump in our revenue side last year,” McGuire said of the inaugural night showcasing DuPage area restaurants and drinking establishments.
The $40 ticket to the event entitles fairgoers to appetizers from area restaurants, beer from 50 to 60 brewers and wine from 20 wineries.