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The 2022 York State Fair begins in first heatwave of the summer

Ride operators, game attendants, and food vendors are taking steps, and offering tips, on staying cool at the fair.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — This year’s York State Fair officially kicked off this morning amid the ongoing heatwave gripping southcentral Pennsylvania. 

Workers from games, rides, and concessions have to work through uncomfortable heat and humidity. 

“It is a little hot. You step outside and you’re like ‘Oh no!’" said ride operator Stacey Gerthoffer. "But you have to come to work regardless.”

It’s the second consecutive year festivities are taking place in July, rather than September. Gerthoffer has been in the business for 19 years and has seen what the heat can do to those who don't prepare.

 “Where we came from it was blacktop, and that did absolutely nothing," Gerthoffer said. "Customers were passing out because it was so hot.”

Temperatures were in the low 90s for most of the day Friday.

"I just came up from Florida and I’m sweating," game attendant Duck Shockley said. "It’s more humid and hotter.” 

Food stands with cool refreshments are often the solution for many. For Leo Du and his family's ice cream stand, business could heat up. 

“A lot of people are like ‘oh, it’s kinda hot. I’m going to get some ice cream,'" Du said. "This is usually the first thing they think of because it’s not something you see every day.”

Du and others working the fair had plenty of advice for people to stay cool at the fair this week. 

“Probably keep a cool towel on you or stay hydrated," Shockley said. "That’s the best combat you could have for it.

“We have a fan," Du said. 

“Make sure you have plenty of water, and drink plenty of water," Gerthoffer said. "Try to stay hydrated as much as possible.”

If you’re trying to avoid the heat as much as possible, temperatures drop throughout the evening. The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Sunday, and from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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