Weekend festivals ready for heat

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 12:11:44-04
Omaha braces for a heat wave that is going to last right through the weekend. 
Our Weather Alert meteorologists predict the heat index will hit 100. Two big outdoor festivals will be right in the thick of it.  We wanted to know what they are doing to keep festival-goers safe. Kelly Bartnick has the details.
On Thursday this giant arch will cast its glow over Lewis and Clark landing downtown. But as the sun rises on this and other events downtown, it is the heat the could put the squeeze on the weekend.
These are the pictures of summer officially two weeks away. As the city preps for the first burst of seasonal heat, which means this could be the sound that stands out most. Because water is what's going to be the savior to two weekend festivals just blocks apart. Santa Lucia Festival organizer Jennifer Mandolfo Carey says "This year with the heat we are allowing people to bring their own water in if they'd like to do that".
Mandolfo Carey says the Santa Lucia festival upped its water numbers ahead of the weekend planning for increased sales, and increased demand among the dozens of volunteers here. Setup is wrapping up for the festival that kicks off Thursday at Lewis and Clark landing. While these closed parking spaces will soon be taken over by tents for Omaha's Summer Arts Festival. Christine Dunn says "it feels like the heat kind of started a but later. For a lot of people Omaha summer arts festival is the kick off of the summer, so it's fitting that it's going to be warm."
That also means lots of water for the festival that takes over Farnam. This year it's free too "They'll be over at 11th and Farnam. They have free water cups and if you have a water bottle bring it and they will happily fill it for you." Both festivals worried about rain, but now their tents will provide shade as they hope for a windy day just like this one to cool off customers hoping for refreshment with a cold one. "We have Peroni and other beers. And we have lots of Italian wine, so you won't be thirsty when you're down here."
The Omaha Summer Arts Festival also has trained staff to help spot people having trouble with the heat and get them to an EMT. Because of the heat threat, the Arts Festival asks you to leave pets at home in your air conditioning.