KENNEWICK -- Sunscreen, water and common sense are must-have items to pack along for the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup boat races this weekend.
A long day spent under a scorching sun can quickly turn ugly, and forecasters are calling for temperatures in the high 90s. Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty.
Apply sunscreen liberally and re-apply every few hours. Stay in the shade if you can and wear a hat.
If you wade into the river to cool off, keep in mind that glass and sharp sticks lurk unseen in the water. A pair of old tennis shoes that you don't mind getting wet is your best defense.
And for walking around the park, "wear shoes that are broken in. It seems like people always want to wear their new sandals so we see a lot of blisters," said Tamie Bradbury, spokeswoman for Kennewick General Hospital.
Water Follies representative Lori Schumacher added, "We're very excited about this being the 45th running of the hydros, but people need to take some precautions and follow the rules so everyone can have a wonderful time."
Here are some tips for surviving the weekend:
Leave these at home:
* Alcoholic beverages. "Coolers and picnic baskets will be subject to search," Schumacher said. Beer garden concession areas will be on both sides of the river, but remember to alternate a glass of water between each beer to avoid dehydration, Bradbury said.
* Weapons, and that includes squirt guns. Misting fans and household spray bottles are fine.
* Pets, except service dogs.
* Glass containers are not allowed.
* Motorcycles and bicycles must be left in designated parking areas.
* Skateboards or scooters.
What to bring:
* Lawn chairs, umbrellas for shade. "Setting up pop-ups and tarps for shade is fine, but don't set them up where they will obscure someone's view of the race course," Schumacher said. "And don't leave them overnight or they'll be stolen or removed."
* Water, lots of it. Athletic drinks are good too, but not recommended for children because they're too high in minerals and electrolytes.
* If you take food, be sure it either can be eaten at air temperature (like fresh fruits) or that you can keep it cold, below 40 degrees.
* Hat, sunglasses, binoculars.
* Sunscreen, bug repellent and a small first-aid kit.
* Towels or blankets.
* A lightweight, long-sleeved cover-up.
Access to the park
The state Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol will be closing all entrances to the park 45 minutes before the last races Saturday and Sunday.
If picking someone up, come in either the main Highway 240 entrance or from Columbia Center Boulevard at the west end of the park. There will be a staging area where you can park and wait for your passengers.
"So on Saturday you need to be at the park waiting by 4 p.m., and on Sunday by 3:40 p.m. This is also where cabs will be directed to wait," said Water Follies representative Kathy Powell.
"But the best way is to just take Ben Franklin Transit," Powell added.
KGH will have two first-aid stations in Columbia Park, one outside the pits and one by the barge near the golf course.
The first-aid station by the pits will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Both will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and from 7 a.m. until after the crowd clears, about 6 p.m., Sunday.
"We see a lot of bee stings and bug bites, stubbed toes and headaches from dehydration or eyestrain from glare off the water," Bradbury said.
For anything more serious, watch for the paramedics on bikes.
There will be one first-aid station on the Franklin County side staffed during the races Sunday by Kadlec Regional Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center personnel.
Portions of the bike lanes on the Benton and Franklin county sides of the Columbia River will be closed from Friday through Sunday from the blue bridge to Edison Street in Kennewick and from the blue bridge to the levy close to Road 68 in Pasco.