When temperatures soar into the triple digits, a fun outing to the California State Fair can quickly take a turn. That's a good reason to listen to Sonney Chong, who has served as a State Fair board member for almost 12 years.
A practicing dentist for over 30 years, Chong tries to go to the fair every day it is open and, over the years, he has developed his own techniques for staying cool.
"Try to watch where all the shade is," Chong said. "In general, try to stay underneath the tents as much as possible."
Chong suggests fair attendees drink lots of water and, when venturing outside, walk under the shade provided by the monorail.
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Attendees can bring their own water, sunscreen and food. For those who plan to purchase food from vendors, choose eating times wisely.
Certain buildings at the State Fair are air conditioned, providing a relaxing place to cool down during the particularly warm afternoons. According to the California State Fair website, the air conditioned buildings are California Buildings A, B, C and D, the Expo Center and The Tractor Supply Co. Big Barn.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that staying in air-conditioned spaces is particularly important for at-risk people, including those 65 and older, children two and under and those with health conditions.
"Air-conditioning is the No. 1 protective factor against heat-related illness and death," the CDC website states. "Drink more water than usual and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink."
At the fair, attendees can take a rest break in the Farm and Forest Center as well as the Cool Zone and the Coca-Cola Promenade where there are food vendors along with "seating, shade and misters for your comfort," the fair's website states.
Over the years, Chong hasn't seen many serious heat-related incidents, and notes that medics are present to deal with any emergencies.
"There are a lot of little problems that always pop up every year, [but] when the fair starts, it seems like all the pieces fall into place and everyone has a good time," he said. "We want everyone to have a good experience."