PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Crook County Fair opens 5 p.m. Wednesday, in Prineville, and the predicted triple-digit temperatures are forcing changes to the schedule.
David White, 4-H Extension Educator, says swine events were supposed to start at 8:30 Thursday morning, "We actually moved their market class to earlier in the morning; so we’re going to start at 7:30 and hope that we can wrap that up before the heat becomes too much of a problem." He says most other animals at the fair, like poultry, lamb and cattle, can typically handle the heat, "Swine don’t sweat, so you’ve got to figure out a different way to cool them off. So, we’ve got misters; obviously we’ve got fans there and I think the real key here is to make sure that we get those shows started early and ended early."
It's the first time anyone can remember having to adjust events at the Crook County Fair, due to heat, "I can’t tell you that I know when it’s too hot – you know, when we should make these kinds of exceptions," White tells KBND News, "This just seemed to be the reasonable and prudent thing to do to make sure that we could ensure the health of the animals. If we were in the mid-90s, we might not be doing this. But, when we hit that century mark, I got a little bit concerned." He adds, "Obviously our concern, in terms of animal husbandry, is to make sure that we take care of all the animals here. And, quite frankly, at the same time, we’ve got to take care of the kids, too."
Crook County 4-H program coordinator Katy Joyce hopes the change - and the heat - don't keep people away, "Aside from the livestock, we have a carnival this year, and there’s going to be all sorts of different events – some magic shows, and each evening there’ll be some sort of live performing music on the main stage, here in Crook County."
This year’s fair theme is “Summer Days and Country Ways.” Admission and parking is free throughout the Crook County Fair, which runs through 10 p.m. Saturday.