Michael Fernandez with Triple Threat Shows cooling of as he sets up games on a hot Thursday afternoon.
Photo: Patrick Keck
Photo: Patrick Keck

Excessive heat could affect multiple big Butler County events this weekend

This weekend’s heat warning has been extended to Sunday, which could add wrinkles for Butler County events like the annual Ohio Challenge hot air balloon festival in Middletown and the Butler County Fair.

The excessive heat warning, which went into effect Thursday at 2 p.m., and has already led to some cancellations and closures, including two-day closure of the Rolling Mill Brewing Company in Middletown and stoppage of a voluntary football practice at Edgewood Middle School.

RELATED: Excessive Heat Warning hits Butler County: What to know for this weekend

Storm Center 7 forecasts that the heat indices are expected to reach 110 degrees today and Saturday before cooling down to a heat index of 100 degrees on Fahrenheit.

The Ohio Challenge begins today at Smith Park, back for its 17th year. After witnessing a 90 percent drop in attendance last year due to heavy rains, the hope is that intense heat will not do the same.

MORE: 6 things not to miss at The Ohio Challenge, Middletown’s iconic hot air balloon festival

Event treasurer Dave Pearce said the Ohio Challenge has put in multiple measures to counter the heat, including a first aid station, as they have in years past, and increasing the amount of tents and shelters. Four misting stations will also be set up, giving visitors the “benefit of mist and breeze,” said Pearce.

“We want to mitigate any risks and make sure all attendees are as safe as possible,” Pearce said. He believes the risks are lower because the event does not start until 4 p.m. and many events, including the balloon glow and fireworks display will not start until after the sun is down.

Pearce asks that attendees to consider the amount of exposure in the sun they have and to remember the splash pad at Smith Park.

The Butler County Fair also starts on Sunday at 7 a.m. as another significant area event that could be affected by the heat

MORE: 5 things to know about this year’s plans for the Butler County Fair

In addition to Butler County Emergency Management Agency’s cooling centers at the Lane Libraries, the Butler County Sheriff’s office invites all citizens to come into their air conditioned lobby through Sunday.

“These high temperatures can be life threatening and part of ‘protect and serve’ is offering a safe place to stay out of the heat,” said Sheriff Richard K. Jones, who is keeping the lobby open between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. this weekend.

The high temperatures are present throughout the state, including Hamilton County. The Cincinnati Reds are hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for a four-game series, and the franchise is asking fans to prepare and protect themselves in the weather.

Fans will be allowed to bring unopened plastic water bottles and small coolers into Great American Ballpark. Inside there will be cool rooms, cool water misting stations, and the Reds team shops that are air-conditioned. Complimentary sunscreen will also be available at the TriHealth first aid stations, who will be on standby in case of an emergency.

Duke Energy has provided tips for customers to manage electricity costs as the heat wave continues. Their main tip is keeping the distance between the thermostat setting and the outside temperature as small as comfortably possible. By closing the blinds, grilling outdoors, using LED lights, and other tips, customers will use their cooling system more efficiently, thus saving more money.

“We know these sweltering temperatures can impact customer bills, which is why we are urging everyone to take steps now to help control their energy usage,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We want to make sure our customers have the information and tools they need to help control their energy costs.”

The excessive heat warning will be in place until Sunday at 8 p.m.

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