Even in the rain, people from all over the area began bringing farm animals for shows and preparing for the heat as the annual Clark County Fair opened on Friday.
Logan McFann, 17, has been showing cattle for eight years with her brother. They each have a cow to show and a plan to keep the cows hydrated during the hot weather.
“Putting Gatorade in the water works and we have fans,” McFann said.
She usually stays near the barns to watch the cows, but sometimes attends Grandstand events like concerts or exhibits in her free time.
The entire family helps with the cows and readies them for showcases, she said.
“I walk (the cow) in a circle in the show ring…and line them up,” McFann said. “They judge (the cows) on muscle and leanness.”
In the next barn, Shauna McCoy shows goats and dairy feeders with her daughter and son, Nick McComas, 17.
McCoy explained that the goats are participating in three shows — the county, the market and the showmanship shows. Afterwards, an auction will be held in order to sell the goats.
“It was hard to see all (the goats) go at first,” McComas said. “It got easier the more I did it.”
McComas has been showing various farm animals since he was eight years old. Her favorite part of the experience is raising them, he said.
The Springfield Rabbit Club also donated rabbits to the fair. Tracee Roof from South Vienna explained all of the preparations involved with keeping the rabbits in the barns safe and cool.
“Each rabbit will have a two liter (water bottle) in their cages,” Roof said.
Many people will make sure the animals are healthy and happy, Roof said.
“If not, we’ll give them fans and attach them to the cages,” Roof said. “The kids will go around with spray bottles to keep them cool.”
This year, the fair is live-streaming the hog show. Participants ages two to 80 years of age can show their pigs and people from all over the country can watch the showcase online.
The fair is also adding elephant and tiger attractions at the main entrance courtesy of elephant handler Shannon Daly and owner Brian Franez, Clark County Fair public relations coordinator Alex Ryan said.
“Our hope is to entertain, but also to educate,” Daly said. “They’re our family.”
The exotic animals are accustomed to high temperatures, so caregivers are not concerned about the incoming heat.
The elephants will demonstrate their strength, dexterity and intelligence during shows. Rides will also be available for $8. The tigers will have a series of three shows at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. daily.
Ryan expects about 10,000 visitors each day.