Clark County Fair endures white-hot weekend

After heat affects turnout, manager confident of rebound as temps cool

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor



If you go

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today. Carnival opens at noon.

Where: 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield.

Admission: Adults, $10; seniors 62 and older, $8; kids 7-12, $7; kids 6 and younger, free. Unlimited carnival rides, $25.

Parking: $6. C-Tran shuttle, $2 per person round-trip from park-and-ride lots; 6 and younger ride free. $1 admission discount with a bus fare stub.

Highlights: Chris Young with Britnee Kellogg, 7:30 p.m. at the Sleep Country Amphitheater. The optional show costs $25 to $35 and includes fair admission. Dock Dogs Big Air WAVE competitions, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Barrel racing at 2 p.m., and rough stock rodeo at 6:30 p.m.

Pets: Not permitted, except for personal service animals or those on exhibition or in competition.

Information: Clark County Fair or 360-397-6180. Columbian’s mobile website for the fair. The fair also has its own app that can be downloaded from your mobile app store.

The heat beat up the Clark County Fair over the weekend but John Morrison said there are plenty of reasons to visit in the next seven days.

"I can recoup from this," Morrison said Sunday evening after the mercury reached 93 in Vancouver. "The carnival was so good on Friday, the losses were almost made up."

The fair is a big business and Morrison, the fair manager/CEO and biggest booster, said he had hoped for 26,000 guests on Saturday and was 8,000 to 9,000 fairgoers shy of that.

He wasn't sure of Sunday's attendance but said he can tell a good crowd by simply walking down the midway and, "I could tell it is a light Sunday crowd."

The Columbian's AccuWeather service calls for a high of 86 today, 88 on Tuesday and 82 on Wednesday.

Morrison said the heat watch at the fair included preaching about keeping animals and humans hydrated and making common-sense decisions.

For instance, "We cancelled some of the gaming-type activities … like a dress-up contest for animals." That meant no contests

to dress up chickens and goats.

"I am hearing that the air-conditioned exhibit hall was seeing a lot more activity," Morrison said.

"We've really emphasized keeping water in front of the animals. That's basic herdsmanship for those kids, but when its hot, it's important to me that they're doing that regularly.

"I've had no animals sent home for the heat," he said.

There are water misters on the midway and big and small fans throughout the barns.

"I think people want to come to this fair," said the upbeat Morrison. "The baby pigs are here, they're a huge hit. There's one litter. I think I'm about 24 hours from a cow birth. That's always a hit out here. It's an educational opportunity for the kids."

On the animal front today, there's a horse show at 8 a.m., sheep judging at 9 a.m., an open class dairy show at 10 a.m., a 4-H poultry bowl at 11 a.m., along with 4-H dogs at the same time, and llama games from 4 to 6 p.m.

The heat has hurt but Morrison is looking for a repeat of Friday, when, "We had an absolutely fantastic first day."