Rain, lower temperatures don't faze fair attendees

Taylor Weiman, 2, of Quincy, and Eva Zanger, 6, of Liberty, make a run for cover during a sudden downpour Friday afternoon at the Adams County Fair in Mendon. The pair were at the fair showing livestock with their families. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Jul. 27, 2013 12:31 am Updated: Aug. 10, 2013 1:15 am

By MATT HOPFHerald-Whig Staff Writer

MENDON, Ill. -- Eight-year old Gavin Koenig aimed carefully.

He had missed his target on his first throw and only had two remaining. After winding up, Gavin threw the softball, hitting his mark and dropping a Unity High School cheerleader into a tank of water.

The 16 cheerleaders from the Mendon high school set up the dunk tank as a fundraiser near the entrance to the Family Fun Zone at the Adams County Fair.

Gavin was trying to dunk one of the cheerleaders while visiting the fair Friday. He said he didn't have any strategy to hit the target; he just concentrated.

"Did you think of the pretty girl going in the water?" joked his 12-year-old sister, Abbie.

"No!" Gavin yelled back.

The brother and sister attended the fair with their parents Typhanie and Brad Koenig, who had an umbrella on hand just in case the skies opened up again.

The family was among the thousands to attend the fair Friday, and despite scattered showers throughout the day, the Adams County Fairgrounds were bustling with people.

The Koenigs typically attend the fair one or two days each year. The kids spent part of their time hitting the rides, with the stomach-churning "Moby Dick" one of their favorites.

"I'm glad I didn't eat a funnel cake before that one," Abbie said.

The family wasn't just there for the rides. Earlier in the day, Abbie performed with a group from Center Stage Music.

"At first I was really nervous, but it was awesome," she said.

Brad Kestner, president of the Adams County Fair Board, said the rain earlier in the day was a "godsend" because it settled the dust at the fairgrounds.

"It helped cool the temperature down," Kestner added. "It's going to be an awesome evening."

The lower temperatures are a break from the usual 90-degree days during the fair, which continues through Tuesday. Temperatures today are expected to be in the low 70s with 50-degree temperatures in the evening this weekend.

"(Saturday) night is supposed to be a record low temperature," Kestner said.

"Usually, it is so hot all you do is wipe sweat off your forehead."

The main attraction Friday night was country music star Joe Nichols. Kestner said that with room for 5,000 to 6,000 fans in the grandstand and all the people in the infield, 10,000 people could attend the concert. {eople were already staking out their seats two hours before the concert.

Coming up Saturday is the Old Tyme Parade, bull riding and the Western horse show. A complete schedule of events is available at