FRANKLIN COUNTY — An extremely hot weekend is in store for residents and visitors in town for the area’s biggest summer street festival.
Saturday’s Old Market Day and the evening reenactment of the 1864 Civil War burning of Chambersburg wind up the annual ChambersFest celebration. With the festival happening in the middle of July, summer’s hottest month, Old Market Day visitors always expect the heat to be a factor in their festival fun.
But dangerous extreme heat is predicted for this weekend, with temperatures on Saturday reaching the upper 90s and a heat index of 105 or greater.
Organizers have plans in place to help visitors withstand the heat and still have a good time, however.
“Old Market Day is typically very hot, and festival-goers are encouraged to take advantage of the downtown businesses which will have specials for the event and plenty of air conditioning for patrons,” said Lark Kennedy, communications and marketing director with the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.
The Chambersburg Heritage Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with staff handing out free bottled water. The restrooms are also open to the public.
Visitors are encouraged to try to get to the festival early, Kennedy said. That is especially true for anyone concerned about the heat. The festival is pet-friendly, but with the extreme heat, pet owners are urged to be very cautious about bringing them to the event.
If It’s Too Hot, Come in and Cool Off
The Heritage Center at 100 Lincoln Way East is equipped with public seating, restrooms and free bottled water.
The Chamber of Commerce will also have a “Summer SWAG” table at the Heritage Center with ChambersFest Survival kits. These have fun SWAG items from sponsors like pens, beach balls, hand sanitizer and lip balm.
Festival-goers are invited to take advantage of the air conditioning, facilities and bottled water from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chambersburg Heritage Center.
Chambersburg Fire Department will set up a station on the Square with emergency medical personnel, according to Chief Dustin Ulrich. It will function as a first-aid station of sorts to treat potential injuries or heat stress-related health problems.
The weather is always a concern for Old Market Day, Kennedy said.
“We’ve had stretches of rain, humidity and high heat in the past, but in the last 10 years I have not seen the extreme temperatures they are calling for on Saturday,” she said. “We encourage festival-goers to please use caution, drink plenty of water and utilize the downtown facilities.”
What’s Going on With the Weather
A dangerous and widespread summer heatwave is expected through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
A large dome of high pressure will allow high temperatures to surge into the high 90s, while heat indices will approach 110 degrees or higher. There also will be no relief at night, when low temperatures remain in the upper 70s and 80s.
NWS in State College says it’s “excessive heat watch” will actually be in effect from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. The heat index will be higher than 105 on Friday and Saturday.
The highest values will be in the afternoons, but overnight low temperatures will be very warm and the air oppressively muggy. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure, according to NWS’ warning.
Today: A high near 93. Southwest wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 8pm. Cloudy, with a low around 71. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 91. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Calm wind.
Friday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Calm wind becoming west around 6 mph in the morning.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76.
Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 77.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny and hot, with a high near 95. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Monday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.