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Vendors and visitors brave the heat at Goliad's Market Days


July 10, 2010 at 2:10 a.m.

Jim Ramirez hands over a strawberry snow cone to 6-year-old Michael Rocha. Snow cones, sodas and shade were among the ways people kept themselves cool during Saturday's Market Days event in Goliad.

GOLIAD - Carey Thomson walked past stands at Goliad's Market Days, examining purses, crosses and other items from behind dark-lensed sunglasses. And, although less interested in shopping than in chewing his tiny fists, Thompson's 3-month-old son, Wyatt, also boasted a pair of shades.

"I figure if I need sunglasses, so does he," the Fort Worth resident said.

And the duo wasn't alone.

Visitors and vendors at Goliad's Market Days event did what they could to protect themselves against the South Texas sun.

Hot months typically bring a slowdown for the outdoor event, said Debra Barker, events coordinator for the Goliad Chamber of Commerce.

"There are a few less shoppers, a few less vendors," she said, explaining the same happens during extremely cold months.

Barker didn't have current numbers regarding how many visitors attended Market Days but said Saturday garnered about 100 vendors. That's on par for July, she said, but busier months such as December and May have brought out more than 175 vendors.

By 2:30 p.m., several vendors were heading out for the day. The idea was tempting to Regina Staggs, who owns Texas South Wind Vineyard and Winery and sat at the stand Saturday, but she decided to stick it out a bit longer.

"I might load up around 3:15," she said. "You don't want to pack up and leave but, sometimes, if it gets to a point where it doesn't look like anyone else is coming, you should."

Blanche Lopez has been a vendor for two years, selling hats, safety glasses and the like. She said she noticed much lower traffic Saturday.

"Usually it's packed here," she said, indicating the sidewalk, where several people stood, although it wasn't full. "There's no room left. But not today."

Husband-wife duo Bruce and Diane Addison manned a knife stand Saturday and kept cool with cooling collars around their necks, water and a misting fan.

The heat is a nuisance, Bruce said, but there isn't much a person can do about it.

"The bottom line is, this is South Texas," he said. "Down here, you just go on with life."

Other vendors catered their sales to the weather.

Jean Hernandez typically sells barbecue during Market Days. On Saturday, however, she offered snow cones, in addition to the jewelry and other items she had up for grabs.

"On hot summer days, people don't eat as much as they crave a snow cone," she said, squirting lime flavoring onto her latest sale.

She'd sold about 100 by 1:45 p.m., she said, explaining cherry, strawberry and coconut were her most popular flavors.

Another stand also helped people cool off with snow cones and lemonade.

Buddies Jim Ramirez and Art Garza had sold about 200 items by 2:30 p.m.

Attendance was down, Garza admitted, explaining he thought part of the problem, might be because rumor spread Friday that the event was cancelled.

Either way, one small patron said he was glad he'd made his way to the stand.

Michael Rocha, 6, purchased a strawberry snow cone to help him handle the heat.

"It's good," he said with a smile, digging in for another bite.



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