Blues, Brews & Barbecue Fest promises sizzling time, workers try to beat the heat

Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival starts today

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- For Jamie Givans, who is spending his Friday afternoon next to a smoker, his dry rub isn't the only thing packing a little heat.

"Actually right here's not that bad," he said, motioning to his smoker. "It's only hot when you open it up for a few seconds, and we've got a nice breeze going this way. In the truck is hotter. There's no AC in the truck."

Givans, one of the co-owners of Momma's Mustard, Pickles & BBQ, is getting ready for the Blues, Brews & Barbecue Festival, now in its 18th year at Water Tower Park.

"It's hot, but there's plenty to drink, plenty of shade, plenty of good food to keep your mind off it," he said.

While the smoker may be hot and the sun even hotter, Givans and others don't have time to take a break. With hours left before gates open, it's important to stay cool and to stay hydrated.

"I probably had four gallons yesterday just to get ready for it," he said. "I've got 300 to 400 bottles of water, and 100 of them are for my staff."

"I started hydrating at the beginning of the week," Jen Washle, the promotions manager with Bisig Impact Group, said. "I drink a lot of water anyways. If you just play it smart, it's pretty easy."

"You know 90 when there's no humidity, that's just a fine July, but when it's 101 percent humidity, there's no getting out of it," Givans said.

But despite the heat, Givans is still hoping for a large crowd. He said he hopes to sell more than 100 pounds of pulled pork and more than 1,000 wings this weekend at the festival, which aims to promote local businesses. According to Washle, 90 percent of the vendors and contractors working on putting together the festival are locally-owned businesses, and she said she doesn't want the heat to deter people from coming.

"You constantly have a breeze off the river, so it makes it a little bit cooler than what it would maybe be at your home," Washle said.

The festival runs Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. More information can be found on its website: http://www.louisvillebluesandbbqfestival.com/

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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