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Serving: IN
County Fair Rains Held True This Year

County Fair Rains Held True This Year

Time-honored tradition upholds itself.

In the old days when high school basketball was still king in Indiana, the old-timers claimed there would be a blizzard, or at least a big snowfall, come tourney time. That was usually the last week of February or first week of March. It didn't happen every year, but it did happen, more than once. One of the more infamous incidents is when 4,500 people were trapped inside Whiteland High School in the early '60's because snow got so bad during the day that no one was allowed to leave. The electricity also went off. Only those who finally won probably remember those who was the victor, but scores of people remember the year that the crowd was snowed in and the lights went out.

The same legend applies to county fair. "It always rains county fair week," is a common refrain, If you check the record books for your county, that's probably not quite true. But when you get a year like this one, when several fairs have been affected on at least one night be heavy rain, the theory reaffirms itself. From Rush County losing a day of their fair to rain to rainouts at the Bartholomew County fair to four consecutive nights of rain at the Johnson County Fair, this year's weather pattern is certainly contributing to the notion that you can expect heavy rains during county fair weeks.

The rains haven't stopped competitions from continuing, however. Inside the barns and arenas, livestock shows have proceeded. However, the swine show at the Johnson County fair was stopped for about 20 minutes last Tuesday night because the county's safety director sounded the tornado siren. As it turns out, the fairgrounds was hit with heavy rains, but not winds. There was a small tornado abut 10 miles south of the fairgrounds, that primarily only damaged crops and one roof on a building.

By the way, with all the sophistication of today's weather forecasting, the tornado detection system still isn't perfect. There was no weather alert, but a small rope0like funnel cloud touched down between Greenwood and Whiteland Thursday afternoon, and was captured by amateur photographers. Damage was minimal.

Ironically, the same path was hit be a more destructive tornado in 1972. In that case, the national Weather Service canceled a tornado watch about an hour before the twister hit. 

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