Another hot night, but people say don't sweat it

A food truck festival in Vinton found ways to stay cool

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter

VINTON, Va. - The oppressive heat had many people rethinking their outdoor plans Friday, but not everyone was scared away. Some people geared up for the heat with water, a hat and some shades to get outside.

The heat lingered around long after the sun went down and some people seemed to be enjoying it. Even the ones who weren't having the best time being out in the sun still found a way to smile through it too.

The Feeding America Southwest Virginia Food Truck Fest in Vinton had no plans to cancel because of the heat. Inside the trucks kitchens cranked out the food, orders flew out the window and a little extra heat just made the night a little extra fun.

"You just have to drink water the entire day, and if you don't about this time of the day you'll start getting light headed," Brother Jake's Brick Oven owner Lucas Peterson said.

Peterson and his team at Brother Jake's felt it Friday night. The grill was hot, the pizza oven was even hotter, but they came prepared.

"We do have the AC going, during this heatwave we actually had to buy a generator just to run it," Peterson said.

The Feeding America Southwest Virginia Food Truck Fest had no intentions of letting Vinton down just because the temperature was up. Finding shade was the key, drinking water was a must, and if you could still dance, more power to you.

"The biggest thing is to make sure that all the vendors have plenty of water and it's either affordable or free, thankfully with the Vinton Farmers Market there's free water fountains and then we also added some cool things," event organizer JD Sutphin said.

Sutphin brought in portable air coolers and fans to help keep people cool. He said he'd choose the heat day after day over rain.

"There is a huge awning from the farmers market to give some shade, there are some fans, I normally don't have ceiling fans at an outdoor event," Sutphin said.

And while the cooks struggle to stay cool, the heat's tough on the food too.

"Anything outside of the freezers will pretty much have to be thrown away, we can't keep temperature low enough on it, that it just gets dangerous to feed people," Peterson said.
So while the heat can absolutely be a damper, a little preparation can keep the party going all night long.

If you're cooking outside this weekend, the heat can affect any food you leave sitting out. Remember to keep raw foods either frozen or cool and keep cooked foods at their hot holding temperature.

Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.