Heat is impacting Canal Fest goers food choices

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) —It’s greasy, most of the time it’s unhealthy, but it’s so good! We’re talking about fair food. Canal fest is a prime spot to get these treats but with the heat some people have been deterred.

Nancy and Galen Craft told News 4,”He likes his clams, so we come down here for the clams. She likes her pizza.”

Phillip, a local fair goer told News 4 fried dough was his favorite!

Other locals had the same reaction. They said, “We walked over the bridge for some fried dough.”

People from all around Western New York flock to Canal Fest every year. There are a lot of draws, but the one most people come for is the food. Festival goers of all ages enjoyed everything from deep fried Oreos to my personal favorite, the colossal onion.

Weather has played a role in what food choices people are making.

Dorothy Kizoff, Operations Manager, described today’s weather. She said, “It’s been a hot one.”

Ice cream and frozen drink sales have been up since last year as people try and beat the heat while salty foods have been less popular.

Marc Janas, General Manager of Powers Great American Midways, described what seems to be happening at the festival. He said, “During the day and the peak heating time we get a lot of lemonades, snow cones, ice cream sales that type of thing. Some milkshakes and things like that. As it cools off later in the day and people settle in for dinner then we sell more Italian sausage, fried dough, and more of the fried food, French fries and things like that.”

In addition, water sales have been way up. People are turning away from the fizzy pops in order to stay hydrated.

Janas said especially on days like today those particular sales have skyrocketed. “On a hot day we saw an increase in fresh squeezed lemonade, we also do lime fizz it’s refreshing, and a ton of bottled water.”

Customers aren’t the only people being extra careful. Vendors are keeping their employees behind the grill safe too!

Kizoff told News 4.”We’re buying products now that are less sugar and that have a lot more electrolytes, so that they make sure they keep their hydration up, otherwise we’re going to have people keeling over here and that’s not good.”

Despite a lot of people coming out to eat up the festival, vendors taking part say they have seen a change in business from last year.

Kizoff said her business is feeling the effects. “Our business is down. We’ve noticed that there aren’t as many people out as there has been in the past and I think the heat has a big impact on that. People don’t want to eat during the day. They just kind of want to lay around the pool, then they pop out around 8 o clock at night and then we have a line stretching all the way across the bridge”

Although the heat has stopped some, many locals like Dina and her daughter Danielle told News 4  they won’t let the weather ruin their traditions.

Dina said, “Don’t matter if its rain or shine, 90 or 100 degrees, I’m still coming!”

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