Extreme heat impacted crowds at Agrifair

Final numbers aren't yet in, but soaring temperatures appeared to cut down on numbers attending Abbotsford event

Colin Adams of Deloraine

Colin Adams of Deloraine

The organizers of Agrifair were pleased with the show they were able to offer the public – even if it was too hot for people to enjoy it for some stretches of the weekend.

As temperatures in Abbotsford soared past 30 C for long stretches of the fair weekend, even a slow walk through the misting tent wasn’t going to cut it, and some would-be fairgoers apparently sought the comfort of air conditioning.

“We’ve had good days, but the heat has been a little extreme at some points,” said Agrifair general manager Pamela Brenner.

On Sunday, with the temperature at 32 C, West Coast Amusements shut down its midway rides. Apparently the metal on the ride seats was hot enough to be uncomfortable, and even a burn hazard. They re-opened the rides at 5 p.m.

However, a cooling breeze in the evening brought the crowds out, and the Christian rock group Starfield played to an enthusiastic audience of 1,200 to 1,300 on Sunday evening.

“It’s a good fair,” said Brenner on Monday morning, as the last day was coming out of the chute. “I’m proud of the board and the volunteers, and what they’ve accomplished.”

Last year the fair drew about 36,000 people over four and a half days. Brenner said it was difficult to estimate whether the 2012 edition would match that.