HUGHESVILLE The heat made things slow at the Lycoming County Fair on Monday.
Most purveyors of fair food interviewed said their daytime traffic was pretty slow, going into the evening hours.
Todd West, working the grill for Gonzey's, of Milton, has been coming to the fair since his grandfather ran the stand. He gave his opinion of the heat: "I swear it's always the hottest week of the year, and rains on average more than ever. It rained so hard one year when I was a kid we had little boats out on the infield, and made a waterslide."
Patty Ague, whose husband Dick's family has been serving ice cream to fairgoers since the Thirties,
made the most damning indictment of the weather: "It's too hot for people to want milkshakes," she said.
Jenny Kensinger manned one of the Snyder's funnel cake stands, with a wet bandana draped on her neck.
"Our biggest seller today is water," she said. "I think we've sold two funnel cakes since two o'clock nobody wants anything hot. I don't want a flood, but a big river running down this road is the best thing that could happen."
Next door at The Beef Pit, Travis Fay said that the vegetable soup and hot cider on their sign wasn't even available, though the cider slushies were moving.
On a day too hot for ice cream, the lighter, fruity delicious drinks were about the only thing selling much.
Arvie Dyke, of Mansfield, has been selling lemonade at the fair for over 10 years. He said he's sold about 150 glasses a day thus far, and proffered his philosophy of lemonade making at his one item stand near the Third Street entrance: "I use four sugars, it gives it a little better sweetness. You have to shake it up right then, so the flavor gets through the whole drink. If you take shortcuts, you get a glass of water."
Dyke says he uses local water in his lemonade.
"You go to this town and that, they're used to their own water. If you give them outside water, it might taste a little funny."
Austin Stoltz, 17, who owns his own smoothie stand, said that his fresh-frozen strawberry and banana offerings were going well. Cliff Isenberg and his crew were serving up frothy fresh-mixed orangeade, "often imitated and never duplicated" with No Artificial Anything Added!, at the same spot they've occupied for 52 years across from the fair office.
Jerry Winters was moving a good bit of Hawaiian shaved ice. His truck, which has been at the fair for 49 years, sells a good deal of "Tiger's Blood" flavor, a mixture of cherry and orange, he said.
"The little kids want to know how we tie the tiger down to get the blood out of it. There used to be a wildlife stand across from here, with a tiger, and we'd tell them that we went over there everyday to get the blood."
Vicki McMurtrie had her tiki stand set up at the fair for the first time.
Her virgin strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas in real coconut cups were selling well: "You can't sit these down when they're filled up," McMurtrie said.
Those selling hot fare will still persevere through the heat wave.
Nick Cowles and Joan Stoppa kept pushing their funky creations from The Grilled Cheese Grill. Their new "Raelynn" sandwich "tastes like a jalapeno popper," Cowles said.