— Despite the Mankato-area “excessive heat” warning, there were plenty of signs of progress Tuesday afternoon at Wheeler Park where crews were setting up North Mankato Fun Days.
Three rides had been erected, including the always popular Tilt-A-Whirl. And eight or nine parks department workers in bright green T-shirts were taking care of the grounds work: fencing, lights, tents, weeding, mowing and electrical work, to name a few things.
You’d never know it was 92 degrees with sky-high humidity.
“We’re all having fun here,” said Todd Mettler, parks superintendent. “It’s always hot this time of year.”
Plus, the parks department is pretty used to working outside in the summertime, he said.
Lynette Peterson, with North Mankato Fun Days, said she agrees with Mettler that it tends to be hot outside when Fun Days rolls around. So she’s not worried about attendance.
But with a forecast of 99 degrees on Thursday — opening day of the festival — Peterson does suggest people drink plenty of water. There’s a drinking fountain on site and plenty of drinks will be for sale. And don’t forget the sunscreen, she said.
Other area parks were pretty quiet Tuesday afternoon. Not a lot of kids playing outside or bikers on the streets, most likely opting for indoor activities in the air conditioning.
Tuesday marked the fourth consecutive day of 90-degree or higher temperatures in the Mankato area. The heat wave is predicted to continue through Friday, with forecasted highs in the 90s, according to the National Weather Service. Today and Thursday both will be in the upper 90s, said chief meteorologist Mark Tarello of KEYC TV.
“Even if we don’t hit 100 it’s going to feel over 100,” Tarello said. “Dew points are right up there in the mid-70s.”
Monday was a record-breaking day for high temperatures, Tarello said, replacing the 1974 record of 93 degrees with a high of 97.
At least some relief likely will come with thunderstorms over the weekend. Predicted highs Saturday through Monday are in the mid-80s.