Elise Taft shows off the frozen towel she's using to keep herself cool while working at CanalFest. July 19, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

CanalFest workers trying to "beat the heat" this weekend

100+ degree heat index plus hot grills mean hard times for workers

July 19, 2019 - 11:56 pm
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By: Grace Ippolito

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WBEN) - CanalFest of the Tonawanda's is in full swing but Friday is the toughest day yet because it will be the hottest day of the year so far and with that, we spoke with a few workers who have to deal with the heat and how they stay hydrated at a time like this.
   
We spoke with Elise Taft from the Souvlaki Stand about how she maintains this kind of work in this kind of weather. She and her team wet clean towels and freeze them for about twenty minutes and once they are "rock solid" the workers lay them to melt away on their faces.

Taft says every team looks out for each other, particularly in situations like today when the heat is so hot it's hard to stand.

"If we see someone struggling up there, we'll run up and help each other out," she said. "Try to toss water bottles when they're needed."

Renaissance Club tent at Canalfest. July 19, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Taft and her team make sure every team member is staying hydrated while also serving a couple hundred people a day.

Some of the tents feel like it's over 100 degrees, especially when cooking under the sun.. While trying to get the work done in the hottest weekend of the year, many still say they choose this heat over Western New York's infamous blizzards and winters.

Larry Drescher from the Renaissance Club spoke about absolutely taking a day like today over a snowy and cold one, while also joking about how the heat affects him and how you can "always take your clothes off."

Two ladies and "Fest Goers," Jeanette and Dorothy, are thankful for good weather after our long and snow-filled beginning of the year.

While everyone is enjoying themselves while also trying to beat the heat, Jeanette's advice is to "Stay in the shade and drink lots of water."  

CanalFest runs until 11 p.m. on Friday. Saturday it goes from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

 

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