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Heat a possible cause for lower attendance turnout at fair

“It’s hot out, but stay hydrated, there’s plenty to drink here,” said Jay Rounds, owner of Jakes vendor at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds in South Bend.

Over 30 years working this vendor truck, Rounds is sticking to his old school ways in convincing you to get to the fair on a hot, hot summer day like Wednesday. He says it’s really simple…

“Move around, get in the shade, get in the air conditioning, come and go, it’s easy in, easy out, there’s a lot to do here, get something to eat while you’re at it,” said Rounds.

At 10 dollars a person for the majority of the day, fair organizers say they’ve noticed a bit of a drop in attendance over the last couple of days.

“Right now, our attendance is a little less than we’d like to see,” said Dennis Murphy, President of St. Joseph County 4-H Fair.

And they think it has everything to do with the current temps, which were nearing 90 degrees when I was on the fairgrounds, but Murphy says it’s nothing he hasn’t seen before and they were way ahead of the heat wave that’s hitting Michiana right now.

“It was kind of the same way 8 or 10 years ago, and attendance was down a lot then too but it was also super hot, a lot hotter than it’s been here,” said Murphy. “We have plenty of cooling stations for people air conditioned buildings. They can go in and relax, cool off a bit, enjoy more rides out here and have a great time.”

As for foot traffic near vendors, something Rounds and his non-profit truck depend on, he says there’s really no excuse to not be there, especially if you’re a Hoosier.

Jay Rounds “Today has been really steady, even though there’s not a lot of people here, the people who are here are buying,” said Rounds. “You got a little clouds right now so the sun’s not out so it’s not as bad but you know it IS summer in Indiana so that’s the way it is.”

Of course when attendance is low, funds go down and because this fair is a non-profit agency, every dollar raised goes back into the current facilities, new ones, and the grounds. One way you can help is by attending their Munchkins on the Midway Thursday. Kids 8 and under get in free and wristbands are discounted, but only from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on the fair, click here.

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