BLUEFIELD — Get ready to crank up the air-conditioner and to enjoy the smell of freshly cut lemons.

The sweltering heat is back just in time for the return of Lemonade Days in the two Bluefields. The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., is predicting a high today of 87 degrees with the mercury slowly rising throughout the week. The extended forecast is calling for a high of 88 on Friday and a possible high of 89 — just one degree shy of 90 on Saturday — and just in time for the South Bluefield Merchants Association’s and Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce’s Lemonade Days Festival in Bluefield and Bluefield, Va., and the Downtown Bluefield Merchants Association’s street fair in Bluefield.

“It will probably be a good weekend,” meteorologist Jeff Stewart said. “You will probably be dry through the weekend, and you might even hit 90 through the weekend. It will be warm. You will probably have one day where you approach it (90 degrees).”

So far this year the chamber has served free lemonade in Bluefield and Bluefield, Va., four times. The mercury hit 90 on June 18, June 26, July 8 and July 9, chamber administrative assistant Beth Nelson said.

But regardless of whether the mercury actually hits 90 or not, free lemonade will be served in the two Bluefields this weekend as part of the Lemonade Days festival and the street fair, Connie Saunders, chairman of the board of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, said.

“Come out and get some free lemonade,” Saunders said. “It’s a wonderful family day. We have all kinds of activities. This is a great day to put the kids in the car, and come down and get lots of free lemonade and good sales.”

Saunders said the Lemonade Days festival was started several years ago as a way to support and help small businesses in the two Bluefields.

“Because that is what the chamber is suppose to do is support business,” Saunders said. “So we contacted the South Bluefield Merchants and the Downtown Merchants, and the merchants in Bluefield, Va. Basically, this is an activity that highlights the fact that we are Nature’s Air-conditioned City, and we serve free lemonade when it is 90 degrees. They (area businesses) have specials in their stores, and there will be all kinds of food and activities.”

The activities Saturday will include a free concert at 6 p.m. featuring the “Collegians” at Southpoint Square, which is the lot beside Goodykoontz Drugstore on Bland St. Food vendors and craft displays also will be featured throughout the day, as well as an all-day farmer’s market and an animal trainer. Magician Eric Richardson will perform at 11 a.m., disc jockey Mike Bowman will be at Southpoint Square from noon until 4 p.m., and the Bluefield Police Department will have a K-9 demonstration at 2:30 p.m. Bill Archer and Karl Miller will perform at 4:30 p.m. and Bluefield State College will have a robot demonstration at 3 p.m.

For the eighth year, the Downtown Merchants Association also will host their annual street fair in Bluefield on Friday and Saturday. A full slate of activities will be held throughout the downtown during the two days. “The downtown has all kind of street vendors, and they have a disc jockey that plays all day long,” Saunders said.

The chamber also will hold a Lemonade Day promotion at Bowen Field on Friday, Aug. 10.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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