A dozen glasses of tall lemonades, some flavored with strawberries, were lined up for a good reason during Saturday's African-American Heritage Festival at Penn State Altoona.
On a day when the temperature remained in the low-to-mid 90s, the glasses of thirst-quenching lemonade were attracting customers to a booth selling fried chicken and french fries.
"I've probably sold about 200 glasses," 16-year-old Jared Clayton of New York estimated. "The crowd seems to like the blend, the one with the strawberry."
Saturday's heat, at the end of week when the thermometer hit a record of 103 degrees in Altoona, may have kept some people away from the 18th annual festival. If that's the case, they're missing a good time, said Phyllis Johnson of Bedford who was enjoying a bowl of Penn State Creamery ice cream, seated under an awning, with gospel music in the background.
Johnson and her husband, Harold, were among those from the Mount Pisgah AME Zion Church of Bedford running a food booth cooking and selling foot-long racks of ribs and corn on the cob.
"Their ribs are fantastic," said Angela Alley of Tyrone, preparing to make a purchase that she would take home. "I was here last year, and I think those ribs are the reason I came back ... I've been thinking about them all week."
Johnson said she has been coming to African-American Heritage Festival for many years.
"I remember when it was just a few people and tables," Johnson said. "Now look at it she said," motioning to the lineup of booths on the main route through campus.
Carletta Nicholson of Altoona was a first-time vendor, with help from her husband, Anthony, and daughters Capri, 13 and Cierrah, 16. She said she came the last three years as a patron and decided this year to set up a booth.
"My big sellers are probably the sweet potato pie and the banana pudding," Nicholson said.
But other treats, she said, like watermelon, lemon cake and flavored Popsicles, were selling well, too.
On a day when festival patrons could be heard talking about the hot weather and comparing it to last year's festival when the humidity was high, Nicholson was well prepared.
"That's why I made my water two for $1," she said.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.