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July 19, 2013

Fairgrounds sizzle in heat

PLATTSBURGH — Cows feel the heat, too.

“Make sure they have water,” 11-year-old Dolan Gilmore said, ticking off the measures he takes with the seven bovines he and his family brought to the Clinton County Fair this week. “And make sure they have fans. 

“And in the heat, you might want to spray them off during the day.”

COOL BATHS

The fair kicked off Sunday, heat and humidity coming right along with it. That day’s high was 85; Monday’s climbed to 92.

Tuesday hit 87, and Wednesday hovered around 90, with a warning from the National Weather Service about the possibility of severe thunderstorms.

Meteorologist Andrew Loconto said from Burlington that the hot and humid air mass will be sticking around for a while.

Heat-index values, which combine air temperatures and humidity to tell about how hot it feels to the human body have been in the upper 90s, he said. 

On the fairgrounds, big fans blow air through some of the barns. A common sight outside is cows and horses cooling off under the spray of hoses wielded by attentive caretakers — who don’t exactly mind getting soaked themselves.

Gilmore, who lives in Ellenburg Center, is part of the Northern Adirondack Central School FFA contingent showing livestock at the fair.

“It’s fun to work with the cows and all the animals,” he said.

He is learning about farming from his family — “especially my older brother, Dalton,” who is 13.

HOT WORK

The heat is tough for those showing their animals, for the requisite clothing and gear, for example long pants, riding helmets and boots, aren’t exactly cool.

On Wednesday, members of the Feathers and Fur 4-H Club took their turn staffing the 4-H Dairy bar, and it was very hot work, said Monika Chambers of West Chazy, whose daughter, Clarissa, 13, pitched in for the almost-four-hour shift.

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