TONTITOWN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Today kicks off the the Annual Tontitown Grape Festival, but it’s also the start for some extreme heat for this week.
The Tontitown Battalion Chief and the Grape Fest Chairman both encourage attendees to come out hydrated to prepare for the heat in advance.
“It’s a celebration of culture, of family and of the of the area,” said Tontitown Grape Fest chairman Rich Starkey.
Starkey says the Grape Fest is all about tradition. Thousands of people come every year to stomp some grapes, enjoy free live music, carnival rides and homemade spaghetti.
With this year being the 124th year for the festival and one of the hottest, there are some precautions to ensure safety in the heat while having fun.
“Additional not only will we have our ambulance that we typically have out here, we’re going to have another paramedic out roaming the grounds, trying to take care of people,” said Starkey.
Grape Festival volunteers aren’t the only ones keeping busy this year. Tontitown Battalion Chief John Buchan says this is the busiest time of the year for them.
“We will respond to more calls during this one week period than any time of the year. So we just ask people if you need assistance, call for assistance. But pace yourself, stay hydrated, take breaks,” said Buchan.
With lots of festivities, Starkey says he hopes everyone heeds the warnings and prepares for the hot temps.
“Additional precautions taken just to make sure that we’re going to be safe. That’s our number one priority is to bring people together, have fun and be safe,” said Starkey.
Starkey encourages families to stay hydrated, stay cool, and enjoy some grape ice cream. The festival runs through Saturday.