Ask anyone about the weather this week at the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville, and you're going to get one reply: "It's hot."
After a stormy June and early July, with interspersed pleasant days, the outdoors is going to be just plain hot this week.
"It'll be the same weather every day," said Mike Dangelo, meteorologist for the National Weather Service's State College bureau. "Hot and mainly dry, with a very slim chance of a shower every afternoon."
Ariana Garcia, 9, left, and her mother Angela Garcia, of Loganton, react to the first drop on the ride the G-Force at the Lycoming County Fair Sunday.
The heat index in the middle of the week might approach 100 degrees, Dangelo said. Projected highs for today, Tuesday and Wednesday are 95, 95 and 95 degrees.
"Friday we'll have a little better chance of showers and maybe thunderstorms, and Saturday and Sunday it'll cool down a little to the mid-80s," Dangelo said. "Normal highs for Williamsport this time of year are in the middle to high 80s."
Fluffy cumulus clouds will continue to inhabit the skies, but "they won't help shield us from the sun," Dangelo said, and so the usual "good rules for hot times" will apply all week.
People are reminded to:
Check in on elderly neighbors, especially those without air conditioning;
Take breaks when working outside, or if one has respiratory issues;
Don't leave children or pets in closed-up cars
Drink plenty of water.
On a hot Sunday evening from the grandstand, Jeff Bates sang about "doing that thang we do" and the cut-off jeans of a 4-H queen putting "the boondocks square on the map."
Saddles straddling sawhorses provided the backdrop for singers Bates, Angela Hesse and Kendall Phillips as they brought Nashville to Hughesville, center of the map for miles around during the fair, going on through Saturday.
4-H demonstrators filled out the rural scene on the dirt track: Near the stage, a cluster of kids and their parents pulled up a couple pickup
trucks, sat on hay bales, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire as the singers glistened and strummed onstage.
"We've been trying for years to get a fire pit down by the cow barn or the pig barn," said Wayne Wagner, of Muncy. His son Tyler, a member of Pioneer Valley 4-H, is showing a 1,612-pound brown Swiss dairy cow tonight.
"We're giving the music a country setting," said Clay Koser, a Keystone Kountry 4-H volunteer from Montoursville. "Our hot dogs are cheaper than the midway."
Plenty of the familiar midway attractions are back. There's the psychic, the ball games with their hustlers calling out to passersby to come "make their money back" by winning strange, stuffed creatures and old football jerseys - Tebow on the Broncos, Manning on the Colts, Favre on the Packers and Paul Posluszny on the Bills - along with the Bates Brothers rides that are included in the admission and all the horses, sheep, cows, pigs, bunnies, chickens and bears your kids might care to laugh about and pet.
One old standby amusement isn't there this year: the bingo stand is gone; its proprietor passed away this past winter.
Outside the gates, many Hughesville residents will have limited use of their yards this week, since they take advantage of the spike in real estate values to park cars and motorbikes for a modest profit. The tight space doesn't stop folks from putting out chairs to sit and visit with old friends and new, and listen to the music and noise that spills over from the fairgrounds.
Robbin Fry and her family park motorcycles, a buck a bike, in her grandmother Mickey Deppen's yard at Second and Park streets.
"We've been doing this since 2000," Fry said. "My grandfather would have a heart attack if he knew we parked in his yard. This becomes the Second Street hangout. We've gotten more than 20 bikes here, in two rows - people come in and say 'hi.' Come by and see us - we'll be melting."
The 90-plus degree heat expected this week concerns Seth Whitmoyer, parking cars on Broadway near Third Street, just a bit.
"With so many people in there, there'll be people having heat strokes," Whitmoyer said. "I talked to a guy and Hughesville Fire Department is ready, and they have backup from Picture Rocks and Muncy."
Things were a bit slow Sunday, which Whitmoyer attributes to the heat, but he thinks it will pick up.
"We've got motocross, and then the bull riding Tuesday. That should bring a lot of people out."