HARRISBURG, Pa. — Harrisburg held its 107th annual Kipona Festival over Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Susquehanna River and the end of the summer, despite sweltering temperatures.
Activities continued throughout the weekend, such as the Native American Pow-Wow on City Island, a festival favorite.
“Every time that they have Kipona we come here,” said Grace Barber of Harrisburg. “We ground and we meditate. It’s beautiful.”
Aztec dancers performed for a crowd Monday, even as temperatures approached 96 degrees.
“When it gets over 90 degrees it’s a busy, busy day for us,” said Rex Carmichael, a paramedic with UPMC’s Life Team who was working the festival.
Emergency medical workers said they had seen several heat-related incidents over the weekend, with some people requiring IVs to rehydrate.
Carmichael urged festival goers to prepare for the hot day: “Stay hydrated. Start hydrating [in advance]. Keep in the shade and know your limitations.”
Luckily, the festival offered many options to stay cool, including fans, shady areas and dozens of vendors selling an assortment of cold drinks.
“It’s not too bad as long as you have some lemonade with some ice,” said Maria Ramirez of Harrisburg. “And there’s plenty of good stuff to eat here too.”
Across the bridge at Riverfront Park, visitors could enjoy additional food truck options, more than 50 artisan vendors and live multicultural music.
Many families could be seen strolling by the river and enjoying the scenic view.
“I just wanted to get out and walk around a little bit, spend some time with my grandson, so this is a great place to do it,” said Mechanicsburg resident George Snook, who carried his 2-year-old grandson Sebastion on his shoulders.
“Look!” Sebastion interrupted, pointing at a boat pulling a water skier.
“Oh, it’s a boat. And we like to see boats,” Snook said, adding that it was a great way to close out the summer.