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Williamsport Days offers a hot time in the old town

August 25, 2007|By TAMELA BAKER

WILLIAMSPORT - There was a hot time in the old town on Saturday.

So hot, in fact, that the only vendor at the yearly Williamsport Days festival who was doing a really brisk business was selling ice cream.

"We're doing pretty good," said Codi Trumpower, who was working the ice cream trailer for the Williamsport Volunteer Fire Co.

"We didn't do as well last year; it was a lot cooler," Trumpower said. "We're doing a lot better today."

Still, many of the peddlers seemed undaunted. Even Dale Keener, who traveled from Falling Waters, W.Va., to sell candles, wasn't worried they would melt as the mercury climbed toward the century mark.

"Unless they're in direct sunlight, they'll be all right," Keener said.

His wife, Thelma, noted they had the perfect spot - under a shade tree.

Nearby, Michelle Murray of Williamsport watched her 3-year-old daughter, Jenna, squirt sand into an elephant-shaped bottle to make "sand art." The Murrays come to Williamsport Days every year, she said, but noted that the crowd was a bit thinner than usual.

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"I think the weather's keeping people away," she said. "There's usually more."

So what was she doing to keep cool during her visit?

"Standing in the shade," she said.

As she and Jenna walked away - with Jenna's sand art, a Tootsie Roll and a Care Bear pillow that Jenna wanted for her room - sand artist Arthur Zoerman of Thurmont, Md., cited the heat as well, saying he'd had more customers last year.

"The ice cream and the water guys are doing well," Zoerman said.

But although the heat discouraged some, there still was plenty to see and do at Byron Memorial Park. The Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band played for several audience members who set up seats in the shade, and a magic show was coming up later.

And the forecast for slightly cooler weather today had some of the vendors hoping for the best.

"Most people say they're coming back tomorrow," said Cathy West, a purveyor of beaded jewelry and other accessories from Stephens City, Va.

To keep cool, she said, "I'm not moving. I'm drinking my vitamin water, and there's a breeze that comes through here.

"Believe it or not, the bathrooms are the coolest place on the grounds," she added

Williamsport Days continues today, with a classic car cruise-in scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. from West Potomac Street to Cushwa Basin.

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