Lake County Fair ends on cool note
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent August 12, 2012 9:28PM
Nick Smith of Grant Park (far right) watches the Hot Wheels cars pass by as they race during the last day of the Lake County Fair held at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point on Sunday August 12, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 14, 2012 6:20AM
Crown Point — Fairgoers were trying to squeeze in their last bit of fun Sunday on what turned out to be a hazy cool finale to the Lake County Fair.
“Unfortunately the weather hasn’t really been on our side,” said Arlene Marcinek, fair publicity director. The 10-day stretch of the 160th Lake County Fair started off on the hot and steamy side with temperatures approaching the 90s and higher through Tuesday.
Toss in a couple days of rain, and one day where it rained in all the surrounding areas but not at the fairgrounds and attendance was slightly off of last year.
“We’re holding our own. As of last night (Saturday) we are about 9,000 less than we were last year. It’s not terrible compared to what the weather was,” Marcinek said.
Visitors were already streaming in pretty solidly early Sunday afternoon and Marcinek said organizers were hopeful they would pick up a few thousand more visitors to bring the total attendance close to 2011 or perhaps break even.
Jill Simione, 16, and her best friend Rachel Adams, 16, both of St. John, were among those taking advantage of the cooler weather. The teens had purchased weeklong mega-ride passes last weekend and have been out on several occasions taking advantage of the deal.
“It was so hot last weekend,” Simione said as the pair waiting in line for the Inverter.
“Today is kind of nice,” Adams said. The girls said they wanted to get in some rides and get a little more fun food including dinosaur eggs — deep fried Oreo cookies — before their rides came at 6 p.m.
Mike and Allison Reilly and their daughter Alyssa, 4, of Crown Point, were checking out the piglets in the swine barn. Alyssa giggled as the tiny animals fought for position to suckle.
“The big one won’t share,” she observed, pointing to one of the larger piglets who kept pushing his smaller litter mates out of the way.
The couple said they were glad the weather was cooler today. They avoided last weekend because of the heat.
“It’s hard to come with her when it’s so hot,” Allison Reilly said. “Today is nice.”
The barns were their first stop. They planned to hit the petting zoo and some of the kiddie rides as well.
“It should be a nice day,” Mike Reilly said.