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First day of summer!

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June 21, 2004

Albany-- Summer has finally arrived. Of course, it feels like the season has been in full swing all month.

The Summer Solstice began Sunday night at 9 p.m.-- that's the time when the Earth's North Pole is tilted closest to the sun.

It's also the official marker of summer. Many people choose to spend the longest day of the year doing different things.

One Albany family decided to kick-off summertime with a healthy attitude.

To get fit, the Girdner's are walking three miles every day this summer--and they come prepared with umbrella hats. Shelia Smith Girdner says, "We decided to do this to keep the sun off our head. It is quite hot and we came up with a plan and we got them at a good price and we just decided to try them out and they work excellent."

Besides the umbrella hats--the family wets their towels and wraps them around their necks to stay cool.

With triple digit heat indexes lately--it's hard to believe that summer has only now just begun.  At Albany's Riverfront Park many people wisely choose to spend the longest day of summer simply cooling off.

The fountains have become the favorite spot to beat the heat for lots of people. Of course, while the kids were playing in the cool water, just a few feet away, construction workers building the Flint River Aquarium were wishing they could play a bit too.

Construction Worker Chad O'Brien says wistfully, "So close, but so far. It makes you want to be little again!"

Jeannie Bradford, whose kids love to play in the fountain, said sympathetically, "The construction workers look so pitiful. They look so hot!"

The men and women in hard hats certainly earned a lot of well deserved sympathy from people who were able to enjoy the fountains. The workers say not a one of them has jumped in the fountains, although the temptation is there.

For the longest day of the year, there is about 14 hours and fifteen minutes worth of daylight. Sunset is at 8:44 p.m.

Posted at 4:20 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com