Chamber looking to beat the heat Saturday at festival

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013


With temperatures expected to drop a couple of degrees over the next few days, forecasters are still calling for a high of around 93 degrees  Saturday as the 33rd annual Alabama Blueberry Festival kicks off.  A 20 percent chance of rain and partly cloudy skies could bring some relief from the heat, but Chamber of Commerce organizers for the event are making plans of their own to help festivalgoers beat the heat.

“We’re doing everything we can to help make the Blueberry Festival an enjoyable day for everyone,” Chamber Secretary Carol Pettis said Wednesday. “We are already lining up some things that will help keep people out of the sun as much as possible and even offer a chance to really cool off as well.”

Pettis said the misting, cooling station will be in place again this year with a fine mist of cool water to help eliminate heat for visitors. Tents will be put up around the park, especially in the area near the entertainment stage, to offer some shade from the sun.

“We have started having the opening of the festival a little earlier in the day,” Pettis said. “We’ll get entertainment, activities and everything blueberry going by 8 a.m. The early start will give people a chance to come out and enjoy all the fun of the festival before it’s too hot for them. Everyone’s temperature gauges are different so we expect people will be out and about pretty much all day. With the chances to cool off if you get a little hot, we want to make the event as fun and comfortable for everybody as we can.”

Pettis said vendors, including the Chamber, will be offering plenty of hydration opportunities as well.

“Of course there will be soft drinks available from several vendors,” Pettis said. “But, if you’re looking for a little lemonade, that will be available, too. I know that we will be selling bottled water at the Chamber’s information booth. Getting a cool drink shouldn’t be a problem during the festival.”

Pettis said emergency medical personnel will be in the park sporadically throughout the day and will be immediately accessible if the need arises.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Burnt Corn Creek Park in downtown Brewton. Parking, with free shuttle service, will be available at Alco Plaza, O’Bannon Park and near the Escambia County Courthouse on Belleville Avenue. Shuttles will begin running at 8 a.m. and will make their last run at 2:30 p.m. on festival day.