Pride organizers, festival goers doing what they can to handle the heat

Columbus Pride Festival organizers are urging people to stay hydrated as another hot day is expected on Saturday (WSYX/WTTE)

The Columbus Pride parade is set for Saturday morning, kicking off day two of the festival.

Organizers are urging people to stay hydrated as another hot day is expected.

When the sun is beating down, cold bottled water and shade are hot commodities at Pride.

Stonewall Columbus prepared for the heat and want people to do the same.

There was a steady flow along the riverfront of both people and cold bottled water.

"We're taking every precaution to stay hydrated all day long. especially with the dogs," said Ashley George.

George found a tiny oasis near the concrete jungle.

"We definitely brought a bunch of water with us as well as a bowl and we keep refreshing them with water," said George.

Pride is drawing a half-million people this year to downtown Columbus.

"They moved the festival this year so we don't have the trees like we have at Goodale, but I found my first little spot of shade," said Jailyn Hoston.

It was [rime real estate on a hot day.

"It's pretty hot," said Mandi Williams.

Williams hunkered down with her children underneath some natural and store bought shade.

"We have another umbrella. You have to prepare for the sun, for the heat," said Williams.

Stonewall Columbus will hand out water should the heat index hit 94.

Bicentennial Park fountains brought some relief.

"It's really really hot out here," said Michelle Gillespie.

The plan is to lead spectators down Civic Center Drive where Red Cross tents have water and ice if needed after Saturday's parade.

"I made a bee line. Every one else was going for the beer and I went for the snow cone," said Gillespie.

Many at the festival are in it for the long haul to celebrate Pride no matter now hot it gets.

"It's just the opportunity to come out and see a bunch of people being themselves and not afraid to release the inhibitions and whatnot, even if it's hot," said Hoston.

Stonewall Columbus has roaming EMS in case people need help should they get sick from the heat.

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