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Surviving Heat at Festivals and Fiesta Takes Planning

Hot temperatures no matter where you live, can make life miserable, and for those going to county fairs or the Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days celebration, it could be miserable without some planning.

It’s much more than just having a bottle of cold water.

A vendor, Josephine Lopez was cooling herself with a Mexican fan she also sells.

“I try to fan myself with my Mexican fan, and drink plenty of water,” said Lopez who also had Gatorade on ice nearby. While selling she makes sure she is in the shade and especially looks forward to a breeze if one comes through the mercado booths.

It’s much harder and hotter for cooks who are nearby preparing food on sizzling hot grills.

“Avoid alcohol early in the day, relax take time and don’t rush,” said Cathy Mollkay with the Medical Reserve Corps.

Everyone has their own body thermometer when it comes to handling these conditions, but add in big crowds, a lot or walking or a few drinks and you could be putting yourself at risk without a hat, sunscreen and water.

If you are with family members or friends, watch for signs that someone has taken too much heat. “They might feel, weak, dizzy, or nauseous” said Mollkay.

For some, the sweat is healthy if you also hydrate.

“You don’t have to go to the gym you don’t have to go to the sauna. Sweating is good for you,” said Erin Fall Haskell, a former resident who is back visiting during Fiesta. She had a hat and was looking for lighter colored clothing to go with her outfit for the hot days ahead.

And don’t forget about your pets. Like one family who was walking through downtown with their dog Chug. Dog friendly businesses already have bowls of water out front, but they carried some too.

“We always have water on us. He is used to it, he never really complains. Wherever we stop he will lay anywhere on the ground,” said Stephanie Martinez.

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