With unseasonable heat expected in North Texas this weekend, organizers of Fort Worth’s Mayfest are prepared to keep guests safe during its grand return.
The four-day festival is back after three years, with its 2020 and 2021 events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its 50th festival, organized by Trinity Collaborative, began on Thursday and will end on Sunday. It stretches 33 acres along the Trinity River in Fort Worth.
Elizabeth Basham, executive director of the non-profit, said they have nurses on-site and will have two stations for guests to refill water.
“In addition to that, we will have an ambus [ambulance bus] which will be manned by paramedic teams to be able to provide an advanced level of care if our guests do get overheated,” Basham said.
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Dr. Glenn Hardesty, an emergency physician with Texas Health in Plano, said this is the time of year when doctors begin to see heat-related injuries and illnesses. Young children and the elderly population are the most vulnerable given the way they dissipate heat, Hardesty said.
“When summer hits and it’s 110 degrees every day, people are used to it. This is one of the times when it might catch people off guard and may not think about it; may not be prepared for it,” he explained.
Looser clothing and staying hydrated are key to staying cool. He also suggested people should do their best to not overexert themselves if plan to spend time outdoors in the heat.
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“People had a sedentary lifestyle, forced a sedentary lifestyle,” he said, referring to the pandemic. “They may need to give themselves a little extra time to get from point A to point B.”
Typically, the festival draws about 200,000 people each year. Basham said they expect crowd sizes to exceed that figure this year with their return.
“There is definitely a demand. People want to get back, they want to connect,” she said.
This year’s festival includes at least 120 vendors, including Names and Frames owned by David Christenson. His business has been operating for 12 years selling photo frames, which can be personalized. Christenson has been participating with Mayfest for about ten years.
“When things happen like what happened in the last two years, you can still survive and still sell online and stuff like that, but bread and butter is when you come to shows like this,” Christenson said.
Tony McCall of Crowley has been attending the festival for the past 15 years and said he was relieved to see it return.
“I’m just glad to be out and about and seeing some of the crafts. Just basically the atmosphere, you know? The art,” McCall said. “It’s just nice and while the weather is decent, it’s really nice.”
Guests are reminded the festival this year is cashless, so only debit and credit cards will be accepted.
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