Juneteenth celebrations and local events prepared to combat the heat

NOW: Juneteenth celebrations and local events prepared to combat the heat

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The high temperatures in Michiana come this week as summer events are just kicking off.

Multiple summer concert series in Mishawaka and Elkhart are still on, and with Juneteenth this week, many will be outside celebrating Wednesday.

The temperatures aren't enough to cancel these events, but organizers say they're making sure there are proper resources to keep people safe.

 "We're going to still celebrate it in a great way," says Robert Taylor, President of the Elkhart Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo.

Taylor says he's ready to beat the week's heat, including a high in the mid-90s Wednesday to celebrate Juneteenth.

He's making sure the people of Elkhart can stay cool while at the Expo's Juneteenth event being held at the Elkhart Public Library, also a city cooling shelter.

"If people need to cool down, they can go inside, we'll have water available out there, tents will be available," Taylor explains. "It's a great shaded area so people will still be able to enjoy it inside and outside and still enjoy beautiful downtown Elkhart."

Keeping yourself safe in the heat is a message echoed by the Saint Joseph County Emergency Management Team, they add that getting through this week will be a team effort.

"Back in 1995, the city of Chicago had 739 deaths over a three-day period from high heat. So, it's important that everybody checks on the elderly, check on your neighbors, know if they have air conditioning, it's working," explains Al Kirsits, Saint Joseph County Emergency Management Agency Director.

Just because it's hot doesn't mean you can't enjoy time outdoors, but they say knowing when you need a break is key.

"If you're outside, if you start to feel stress, get into the shade and be sure to drink plenty of water," Kirsits advises.

"We're just asking everybody to stay hydrated, drink a lot of water even before you leave the house, and I think we'll be perfectly fine," says Taylor.

The Elkhart Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo's Juneteenth celebration will be Wednesday starting at 4 p.m.

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