'Brrring' through the cold; fairgoers talk impacts of colder temperatures

Published: Nov. 12, 2019 at 9:10 PM EST
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By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News

November 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It's beginning to get cold, cold, cold! But, the drops in temperature did not slow down the fun that took place at the North Florida Fair Tuesday night.

Although a slower turnout on a school night, and possibly because of the cooler temps, the crowds 'brrr'ed through the cold. But what are the real impacts of the weather on the fair, vendors, and the fairgoers?

Executive Director of the North Florida Fair, Mark Harvey says, "It's been quite a while since we have had this kind of a cold stamp at the fair."

Bundled in his puffer coat, Harvey shares that the cold is a warm welcome, "When I was a kid the cold air and the fair kind of went together."

Yet there are some people who don't love the chill. And because of that, Harvey says the fairgrounds are prepared and equipped to keep their customers toasty and happy, "We have two climate control buildings and if it gets cold the heaters come on there. But no just put on a jacket and come out. It's a lot of fun."

But the fun can slow down for vendors on days where the temperatures drop.

Mariann Level is an owner of one of the Turkey Leg Booths. She is from southern West Virginia, so the cold is not uncommon to her. However, she has worked many fairs, and she knows what unexpected weather can do to business, "Sometimes it can help but other times it can hinder especially if you are around an area that is not used to cold weather, so it can stop people from coming in."

Colton Brooks, one of the foreman at Show Me Safari Petting Zoo, expresses, "Usually for us it kind of slows the fair down. People don't want to come out especially on a week night when it is cool out. They like it a little more warmer."

But the crowds did show, and many of them stayed warm under the roof of the petting zoo, near the animals. Brooks says this weather is a plus for the animals, who come alive in the cold, "They just really enjoy it. It makes them feel good make their muscles feel good they just love cold weather."

As for the fairgoers, there are those who do not love the chilly weather like Harry Larson, "It's always cold this time of year at the fair, it seems to wait on the fair."

Dottie Farr is from up North but she shares, "I don't like it this cold at the fair, but I like the fair."

However she makes it work, "Did I second guess? No, no, no...I just bundled up!"

Whether its bundling up in blankets, biting into a warm turkey leg, or keeping warm by the goats, the fairgoers are braving the cold, and taking part in all of the fair fun.

The fair will continue to be open. It's last weekend will be this weekend, November 16-17.

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