The dog days of August are upon us.
A hot spell lasting almost a month is having its effect on Keremeos business as priorities shift and people look for ways to beat the heat.
Last Wednesday, July 30, the usually thriving downtown business core on Seventh Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets was nearly deserted following lunch hour, in a pattern that appears to becoming the norm – at least with every sunny day where the temperature exceeded 30 degrees Celsius.
Some businesses fare better than others during a heat wave. Restaurants, pubs and bars can be an oasis or a sauna, depending on what position one is employed at, while office work more often than not comes with the comfort of central air. Then there are those whose work is all outdoors…
In Memorial Park, Alex and Richard sat at a picnic table, new arrivals in the village.
“It’s uncomfortable, especially with backpacks on,” said Alex. The two were carrying backpacks, a tent as well as cherry picking bins.
“We’re outside all day,” he continued, “you have to escape the sun at some point.” He said they got up early every morning because the sun heated up the tent so quickly.They thought they would head for the old Farmworkers campground area for the night, and move north, noting that cherries had nearly finished here in the Similkameen .
Downtown, a sign on the door of the Wrong Turn Tavern read, “I’m sorry, we will be closed Wednesday, July 30 due to major cleaning.
We are also going to slack off – enjoy tubing the river, celebrate two Wrong Turn Tavern ‘family” birthday’s and have a much needed relaxing day.”
Across the street at Emmys Bake Shop, the fans work full time and the doors are open, front and back, to create a draft.
“It’s busy in the morning,” Emmy said, “on the hot days, it gets pretty quiet in the afternoon.”
“This morning, we were really busy from 8 until 11 a.m.”
Emmy is hoping to have air conditioning for next summer.
At MJ’s Pizza and Caribbean Foods, Mark and his employees take advantage of a few square feet in the middle of their pizza shop where the roof mounted “swamp cooler” sits.
“This is how everyone here stays cool,” Mark said, demonstrating by staking out his position on the floor underneath the unit.
“It may not be much, but it’s better than nothing,” noted MJ’s manager, Mari.
Finally, Sean Hitchen of K Mountain Automotive has a simple solution to beating the heat of his two service bay and single outdoor hoist garage.
“I head for the office,” he said, “That’s my solution.” On a more serious note, Hitchen admitted the hot weather did take its toll after a while, adding he was looking forward to the long weekend.