Beat the heat, places to cool off - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Beat the heat, places to cool off

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July 22, 2005

Valdosta- Friday, heat indeces climbed well over 100 degrees, and more of the same is coming. So, where can you go to beat the heat? More than 1.5 million people visited Wild Adventures in 2004 and they're on pace to have the same attendance this year. With temperatures in the 90's all but two days this month, the most popular place is their water park.

As South Georgia heats up again, some were sliding into the weekend with an attempt to beat the heat.

"There was like sweat pouring down our faces, and it was just really, really hot," said Abbie Bryant, of Phoenix City, AL.

That's why the lines keep getting longer at the Splash Island Water Park at Wild Adventures. "This is the most popular place on these hot Georgia days, people come in here and they're so excited about coming to our wonderful water park," said Tiffany Lewis, Wild Adventures Public Relations.

"It's really worth the drive here, takes me about an hour and a half, so it's really worth the drive here," said Wanda Hamilton, of Albany.

Wanda and her family have season passes and travel from Albany because it's one of the few places in South Georgia to cool off. "We did water slides we did the wave pool and now we're here enjoying this new part for the little kids," said Hamilton.

Wendy and her three kids make the trip from Alabama at least twice a month in search of relief from the heat. "They're miserable, they're miserable, the heat, sweating, the bugs, out here there's none of that, so they're having a good time," said Wendy Claasser, of Ozark, AL.

But for most it was a break from the heat and their daily routine.

"All week long I've been working in a sweatshop and coming out here today getting in the water, getting a breeze on me, it's real relaxing," said Rev. Charles Alphabet of Atlanta who brough his church groups and 35 kids.

The demand for a place to cool off and have some fun has even forced Wild Adventures to reconsider their hours. The water park now opens at 10:30 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. and they say that's the water park is where many go first.

Lifeguards also encourage patrons to drink plenty of fluids while they're at the water park. They say they're prepared for any type of heat emergency and encourage people to get out of the sun if they start to show signs of fatigue or sickness.

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