Heat, Ike have impact on Heritage
By the time the 33rd annual Lanesville Heritage Festival parade began Saturday afternoon, parade emcee David Brengman said there had already been heat-related emergencies and he warned patrons to watch out for emergency vehicles and to be careful in the heat.
On Sunday, heat wasn’t the worst perpetrator. Instead, it was gusts of wind, leftover from Hurricane Ike, that blew away vendor tents and knocked tree limbs and leaves all over the Heritage grounds.
‘We had two good days,’ said Joan Schickel, publicity director for Lanesville’s Heritage Festival. ‘We’re not going to go in the hole. We may not be making anything, either.’
Barbara Smith of Corydon was at the festival on Sunday when items from a booth started blowing away about 1 p.m.
‘We just started throwing things in boxes,’ she said, to help the leather vendor as well as a neighbor of Smith’s who also had a booth at the festival.
Once she left the Heritage grounds, she found her route home blocked by downed trees and power lines. After trying a couple of alternate routes, she finally reached her home off Pfrimmer’s Chapel Road.
Gary Kleeman, director of Harrison County Hospital EMS, said he ‘lost count at 13’ the number of runs EMS had to make to Lanesville, due to heat exhaustion during the weekend.
‘It was just too much for some of the elderly,’ he said.
But the heat didn’t stop the crowd from coming to the festival Saturday, especially those repeat visitors to the festival.
Nancy Tomes of Lanesville said she’s been coming to the festival for many years, as a way to support her community. Her children and grandchildren attended Lanesville schools and a few of her granddaughters were princess and queen candidates in the festival.
‘It’s just a homecoming,’ Tomes said.
Standing in the shade of one of the craft booths Saturday after the parade, Tomes said despite the heat she couldn’t imagine not coming to the festival, something she’s been doing almost since the beginning of the festival itself.
‘Every year, it’s like you did it yesterday,’ she said of seeing the same vendors in the booths with some new ones sprinkled in. ‘You have to come.’
Tomes said she and her granddaughter, Loren Tomes, 20, had heard of people coming to Lanesville for Heritage weekend from as far away as Wyoming.
For Joan Peyton of Corydon, business was a little slow. This was her first year participating as a vendor in the Heritage festival, though she had come as a browser for many years. She and her daughter, Erin Day, were selling jewelry as a way to raise money for a mission trip to Moldova. She said she figured it wasn’t so much the heat keeping people away, since lots of people were browsing. She blamed the economy.
‘People are using this as a vacation,’ she said.
On Sunday, though, the vacation was over. Schickel said chicken dinners were served starting at 11 a.m., and already vendors were packing up and heading home due to the ‘terrific winds.’
Schickel said Dale (Chip) White, co-chairman of the festival, ordered her and other festival volunteers to stay inside once the clean-up began after lunch.
The horseshoe tournament and mini-tractor pulls were canceled Sunday, along with several other events.
‘We always prayed for those people in the hurricane area,’ Schickel said. ‘This was a (Category) One storm. Can you imagine what a (Category) Two or Three is like?’
Results from Lanesville Heritage Weekend events were not available at press time yesterday (Tuesday). Schickel said her packet of results were in the information booth Sunday afternoon, which was crushed by a tree. Results will be printed as soon as they are available.
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Information for this story was also provided by Staff Writer Ross Schulz.