Hottest Weekend of 2023 Expected as California State Fair Opens

Sacramento, CA – This weekend is poised to be the hottest one of the year, coinciding with the opening weekend of the California State Fair. Meteorologists predict temperatures in the upper 100s for Sacramento, accompanied by a high heat index.

Fairgoers are advised to brace themselves for scorching conditions, with highs peaking around 110 degrees on Saturday evening. Adding to the heat, the fairgrounds’ pavement may intensify the temperature due to the urban heat island effect.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that structures such as buildings and roads tend to absorb and re-emit more heat from the sun compared to natural landscapes like forests and bodies of water.

Paramedic Andrew Armitage, who has worked at the State Fair for 25 years, cautions that the asphalt at the fairgrounds could reach temperatures as high as 120 to 135 degrees. This can exacerbate heat-related issues for fair attendees.

Due to the extreme heat, the opening weekend of horse racing at the fair was canceled, and livestock judging schedules were adjusted accordingly.

Projected to surpass previous records, the highest maximum temperature ever recorded at the State Fair was 105º in 2017. However, this year’s opening weekend is expected to reach even higher temperatures, with projections of 106º and 107º on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

To stay cool at the fair, experts emphasize the importance of hydration. Armitage advises fairgoers to opt for clear drinks like water, Gatorade, or sports drinks and to avoid sodas and alcohol on hot days. Being mindful of your body and that of your companions is crucial as well. Pay attention to signs of dehydration, such as excessive sweating or frequent restroom visits.

Food service workers also need to prioritize hydration. Erika Barnes, a food truck manager at the State Fair, highlights the significance of staying cool for their employees. While their truck is equipped with an AC system, she ensures that cashiers stationed outside are provided with umbrellas. Hydration is stressed as a top priority.

In addition to personal measures, fair management has taken steps to provide relief from the heat. Most of the fair buildings are air-conditioned, and four Bonney cooling centers have been strategically placed throughout the fairgrounds. These centers consist of large white tents with air conditioning and mesh walls to promote airflow.

Fairgoers are advised to take precautions, stay hydrated, and make use of available cooling facilities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at the California State Fair amid the scorching temperatures.

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