Tending a 500-degree roaster at a midway food booth, Boyd Bierwirth knows about hot.
Staying cool at the North Dakota State Fair isn't an option when customer traffic is steady, which it has been much of the time. But that's fine with Bierwirth. Once acclimated to the heat, he stays away from air conditioning.
"Going in and out, it just makes it worse," he said. "You just work slow, and you work steady."
Jill Schramm/MDN • Kellen Lagerquist, Connor Keysor and Hunter Brandvold stay cool with flavored ice at the North Dakota State Fair.
Most fair visitors, though, look for ways to stay cool during the heat of the day, whether it's seeking out an air-conditioned building or snatching up cardboard fans given away at some of the exhibit booths.
Sierra Schneider and Tanecia Maskey of Minot found the Drop Zone and Genesis to be among the coolest rides on a hot day on the Midway Tuesday.
"They move you around fast and you get a lot of wind," Schneider said.
Bottineau youths Connor Keysor, Kellen Lagerquist and Hunter Brandvold beat the heat with flavored ice on Monday.
"This, and lemonade," Keysor said. "That pretty much does the trick."
Sheryl Seyfert, of Crosby, said the shade and breeze off the water at the fishing pond is cooling, but for the especially hot times of the day, the best place to be is inside an air-conditioned commercial building.
Susan and Gary Johnson rested in the State Fair Center Monday, where the air conditioning provided an escape from the rising temperatures outdoors.
"You don't realize how warm it is until you come into the air conditioning," Susan Johnson said.
Arlene Bosek, of Alexandria, Minn., was feeling the breeze in the shade Monday.
"Actually, this is pretty comfortable," she said. She had just watched another fair visitor purchase a sweatshirt to ward off a chill so "hot" is a relative term.
From a family of car racers, Bosek said the sun beating down on the fairgrounds doesn't compare to the inside of an unconditioned race car warmed by the heat of the engine.
"That's the hot place to be," she said.
Fair workers, like car racers, don't always have a choice to escape the heat.
Sitting next to a cooler of ice and Coke products doesn't help much, said Katie Gregory, of Surrey, who has been helping out with sales at the fair. It does make it easy to grab a drink when she needs one, though, and she can go through three to four bottles of water when it gets hot, she said.
Doing security among the farm equipment, Air Force volunteer Kyle Cooper had to get inventive to stay cool.
"For me, sitting in the wheel hubs in some of the largest farm machinery because there ain't much for shade out there on machinery row," he said.
"We hide," said Kenny DiMartino with Murphy Brothers. The sun is the worst in the early evening as it sets in the west so he positions himself on the east side of his carnival booth, behind the stuffed animals.
However, he lists Minot as one of his favorite stops and notes it is cooler than other places where 110-degree heat can shut down rides and games.