Summer time and the living is easy, as the song goes. It is also hot, with average summer daytime temperatures in southern Idaho in the 90s. If you are planning an outdoor event, there are a number of ways to keep your guests from melting in the heat.
Shade – Shade is a necessity and can be provided in several ways, by holding the event in a shady location, such as a park with mature trees, renting a canopy (tent without sides) or choosing a location with a covered patio or deck. Choosing a location with an indoor option is even better.
Menu – When deciding on a menu, avoid hot foods in favor of lighter fare, such as salads and fruit. Keep guests hydrated by providing plenty of water and other cold non-alcoholic beverages. (Alcohol dehydrates, something to be avoided.) You might surprise your guests by inviting an ice cream truck to your event to provide refreshing and cool desserts.
Misters – Misters, tubes with tiny holes that spray water, can be rented at some rental centers. They are also available for purchase at home improvement stores and on-line for reasonable prices. Free-standing misters can be placed throughout the event area, assuming a water source is available. Misters can also be attached to a tent frame or placed around the top of a deck or patio cover.
Insects – Hate bugs? So do I. Numerous types of insects can interfere with the enjoyment of summer events. Mosquitoes may be an issue, particularly after sundown, and they may carry West Nile Virus. Mosquito repelling candles and tiki torches will help. If you prefer not to have open flames, mosquito repellents that use ultrasonic sound are available. Solar repellents are also available, but reviews indicate they may not store enough energy to be effective. You may also want to provide mosquito repelling wet wipes or non-aerosol spray.
Bees may be a problem later in the summer. They are particularly attracted to food. Bee traps can be purchased at most home improvement stores and can be strategically placed in trees. You might also try placing Bounce dryer sheets under your tablecloths, as bees don’t like the smell.
Fruit flies and small gnats are a particular problem in late summer at winery events and other locations where fruit is ripening. Guests will be repelled by the sight of bugs crawling around on the food. It may be necessary to keep food covered, either with individual covers or by placing a tablecloth or sheet over the serving table.
Flies are another late summer problem at some outdoor locations. Again, keep food covered and keep trash containers far away from food tables.
Summer is a perfect time for family gatherings, weddings, reunions, company picnics and other events. The long days and pleasant evenings provide many hours of enjoyment. With a bit of planning, you and your guests can enjoy a lovely event without discomfort.