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THE HEAT IS ON.

Byline: Jill Aho The Register-Guard

It's going to be hot today. Very, very hot.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning until 10 p.m. and predicts today's temperatures will again nudge 100 degrees, bringing more of the hottest weather of the year.

People attending the Lane County Fair got a taste of the heat Thursday as temperatures rose to 100, punishing those who came ill-prepared for the only day of ride bracelets, which provided unlimited rides through 5 p.m. for a single price. The 100-degree mark tied the record for the day.

Kylee Muma and her daughter Alexis waited in a long line at the U-DO-IT Slush Factory for a flavored, icy treat. The all-day rides lured the pair into the sun Thursday.

"We would have come one day for sure," Muma said. "But it wouldn't have been today."

Anticipating more heat, fair organizers hope to help people stay hydrated today by handing out bottled water at the gates from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., or until they run out.

"It's so hot, it's really hot," said fair spokeswoman Beverly Young. "I think young people don't keep themselves as hydrated, so it's hard to get them to carry water. I saw a lot of red faces."

Young said people are encouraged to refill their bottles. Water refills are available at fair entrances, inside the Performance Hall and at several fair-sponsored booths.

Eugene Water and Electric Board's Oasis booth was a popular place Thursday, with people refilling water bottles and enjoying the mist emanating from its tent. A lot of people have said thank-you for providing the booth, said Katie Sproles, an EWEB employee and fair volunteer.

Tiffanie Woolcott took advantage of the mist spray as her 9-year-old son played video games in a nearby tent. Her strategy was to travel between the air-conditioned Performance Hall and the heat of the outdoors.

"It's not too bad when you cool down," she said.

Eugene Fire Department rescue workers staffing a first aid tent said heat exhaustion doesn't give many warning signals.

"Start the day off hydrated, don't try to play catch-up," said firefighter Aaron Fredrickson. "Limit your time in direct sunlight. It happens all of a sudden."

Melissa Newell of Springfield can attest to that. She brought her 4-year-old son Mikey, who was wearing dark clothes, to the first aid tent after he had vomited all the day's water while standing in the sun. Their group had arrived nearly five hours earlier.

"He just got a little not feeling well," Newell said. "Shouldn't have put black on him."

Newell opted to visit the air-conditioned Performance Hall to see if Mikey got to feeling better. He, of course, wanted to go on more rides.

Fredrickson said it's important to consider the effect clothing can have when preparing to spend the day walking around and in the sun.

Many of the visits to the first aid tent throughout the fair were for Band-Aids to ease the pain of blisters. Fredrickson recommended wearing socks and comfortable shoes instead of sandals or flip-flops.

On the other side of the midway, the Ice Center offered a cool destination, maintaining a temperature of around 60 degrees. "It's much cooler than outside," said employee Anna Steeler.

The ice rink has been a popular place for people to chill out. It will be open today for public skating, costing $3 for skates and nothing for admission. There's also a speed skating demonstration at 2:30 p.m. and adult hockey at 6 p.m.

FAIR TIP

Get free admission to the fair until noon today by showing your Bi-Mart card at the gate, but don't forget to bring a refillable bottle of water. The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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Title Annotation:Festivals
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 15, 2008
Words:632
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