Festival goers, Girl Scouts, cyclists find ways to cope with heat

Any youngster at Silver Spring's 'Sunfest' would probably tell you the same thing: that the in-ground fountain is the coolest attraction of them all.

"I think this is a great idea. I love it", says Kathy Hass, who brought her grandchildren, on a sultry Sunday morning. "We thought we'd get out of the house with the three and the one year old, and get them wet."

The festival's summer weather theme was certainly appropriate this weekend.

Temperatures edging toward the 100-degree mark forced outdoor revelers to look for shade, or air conditioning, or both.

"We have to stay in the shade and stay cool", says Amadou Tandina, from Silver Spring. "It is very hot and most humid. That's what makes it more difficult."

The D.C. area's June heat wave was a major challenge for a huge Girl Scout rally on the National Mall Saturday.

The 'Rock the Mall' gathering--celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting--attracted an estimated 200,000 people.

But authorities say at least 53 people were overcome by the heat. Fifteen people were transported for heat-related illnesses.

"This is right on the edge, it's a little too much", says D.C. resident Vicki Drell.

Which was why D.C. water vendor Ashley Simmons isn't sweating the high temps. For herself, or her customers.

"They're hot. It's hot out here, something like 90-degrees, so they need some water", she says.

Likewise, water stations at Sunday's Air Force Cycling Classic proved to be a popular stop on the 56-mile course.

Mary Anne Williams says she came prepared.

"I got two bottles of my Gatorade, and all kinds of food and gels", she says.

But for the throngs arriving at the Capital Pride Festival downtown, hand fans, bottled water, and tank tops are the fashion.

Kate St. John traveled to the festival from Baltimore.

"Trying to get shade, but it's so hot. I've got the bathing suit on, just in case", she laughed.

Then there's popcorn vendor Wayne Bowden, with one of the hottest jobs of all.

"What do you do when it gets so brutally hot like this?" he was asked. "Put the fans on and pray", he replied, while popping corn over a hot machine.

"Yesterday was bad. Today feels a little bit worse, 'cos it feels hot earlier", St. John says.