The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
People try their best to beat the heat
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
Although Saturday’s heat may have felt like a record-breaking day for the region, it wasn’t. Unlike in Washington, Baltimore and other spots, temperatures didn’t set a new daily record here.
Saturday’s high temperature here was 102 degrees, said Jared Klein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Klein said that Sunday, the region can expect temperatures to hover around 97 or 98 degrees, with afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
The region can look forward to some relief. Monday’s high is expected to be 85 and highs will hover in the mid-80s all week. But don’t celebrate yet—along with thunderstorms projected almost every day, the humidity is projected to stick with us—literally.
BEATING THE HEAT
Because temperatures were projected to climb into the triple digits Saturday, area businesses took precautions.
The Fredericksburg Farmers Market at Hurkamp Park closed up shop at noon, instead of staying open throughout the afternoon.
“It was out of an abundance of caution for our vendors and customers,” said Gayle Price, the market’s manager.
“It’s just not safe.”
That didn’t stop the vendors from having a successful Saturday.
Price said they had about the same crowd they usually do, but more people came out earlier.
Instead of peaking just after 11 a.m., like a usual weekend, the peak came just after 9 a.m., she said.
Tracy DeBernard of C&T produce arrived at 6 a.m. to set up her stand.
“It was only kind of hot, then hot, then really hot,” she said about the heat.
She said the business’s livelihood depends on sales, whether it’s hot or not.
She said she sold more summer vegetables and fruit—including corn, watermelon, peaches and cantaloupes—than usual and less cabbage and squash.
Alex Bryant, a vendor from King George-based Anna’s Bakery, found a good way to beat the heat.
He propped a large fan next to his chair. He said he was surprised more vendors didn’t do the same.
The heat didn’t keep his customers away.
“It was hopping this morning,” he said.
One of those customers, Bob Moran of Dahlgren, said he didn’t mind the heat.
“It’s better than cold.”
Clyde Howard, the owner of a farm in Spotsylvania, said the heat didn’t bother him because he is used to picking his crops in it.
He said business was good compared to last Saturday, when many shoppers didn’t show up because they were dealing with power outages.
This time, tomatoes, peaches, jams and jellies were fast movers for him.
To stay cool when he’s out all day picking in the field, the 71-year-old said he drinks iced tea all day.
He takes his only break around noon, when he stops to have lunch.
There was one Fredericksburg resident who didn’t want to hear any complaints about the heat.
Chris Yiasemides, owner and cook at the 2400 Diner in Fredericksburg, works in a 100-degree kitchen.
On Saturday, he was pulling a 13-hour shift.
“I work over a hot grill,” he said. “There’s nothing like the heat of a hot grill or stove blowing in your face,” he said.
A sign posted on the diner’s door implored patrons to “please enter & exit the building as quickly as possible so that our dining room stays cool.”
The farmers market wasn’t the only business to close up shop early. Pinkadilly Tea in Fredericksburg posted a heat-related note and closed its doors at 1 p.m.
The Bluemont Concert Series had a show planned for the field at Maury Stadium, but organizers decided to move it inside to the auditorium at James Monroe High School, as they do when it storms.
They said they didn’t think the band would complain.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413