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Summer Sweat beats the heat in Fresno with slides, fans and local flavor

'Summer Sweat' heats up downtown Fresno

Second annual block party brings businesses and music lovers together. "I feel like it's Christmas right now ... a hot one," says event organizer Johnny Quiroz. See and hear the fun.
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Second annual block party brings businesses and music lovers together. "I feel like it's Christmas right now ... a hot one," says event organizer Johnny Quiroz. See and hear the fun.

Summer Sweat kicked off Saturday, expecting to draw a crowd of nearly 500 as the sun set at the Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company in downtown Fresno and featuring both local bands and out-of-state artists displaying their work amid water guns, slides and fans.

Event organizer Johnny Quiroz from Fresno acknowledged the heat as the block party started at 1 p.m. With Fresno’s temperatures already exceeding 100 degrees, Quiroz predicted that hotter temperatures wouldn’t keep crowds away.

“The heat always contributes,” Quiroz said. “I’ve been called crazy for my whole life, so it makes sense that I would do something like this during the hottest months. There’s certain things you can’t change, and I’m a risk-taker. You put that together, and here’s another hot day, still done with a smile.”

The event name plays homage to something so integral to Fresno, Quiroz said – namely, the heat.

“Fresno is my everything,” Quiroz said. “I started with wanting to do something for my city and with the music. One thing led to another, and we’re still growing. It still feels like the first year. We are expecting 500 plus people, but I’m happy with it right now.”

Local vendors included Ampersand Ice Cream, Lanna Coffee Co. Cold Brew, Downtown Fresno Root clothing, Henna tattoos and art by Neenawh.

I love Fresno music, I love supporting all these beautiful musicians and artists. Craft beer, ice cream, coffee infused with nitrogen, it’s perfect.

Phillip Bergstrom

Nineteen-year-old Nina Jeon is the artist behind Neenawh. Jeon said she is moving to Los Angeles on Sunday but heard so much about the event she thought she would give it a try.

“It’s my last night in Fresno, so thought I’d go out with a bang,” Jeon said. “Everyone is suffering in the heat, so might as well come out. Plus there’s a waterslide!”

Bands featured at the event included one of Quiroz’s favorites, Black Milk, and many others, from Crash, Banta, GoldBoot and Macondo, to Cinco, Where Sea Meets Sky, Sister Grizzly and Radio Skies.

Crystal Flores and her 5-year-old son, Ian, came out to see their dad perform as part of his band, Macondo. Flores said it was a great event for all ages, with activities like the water slide, Foosball tables and drinks and food for the adults.

“This is my first time coming, and I do really like the idea of it,” Flores said. “It’s a good event. I’ll definitely stick around. Even though it is hot, it’s still nice to just come out and have something to do.”

Quiroz agreed, noting some people were in swimsuits taking part in the slide, while others had brought their dogs or were playing with water guns.

“It’s a crowd that definitely contributes to the success of Fresno,” Quiroz said. “Every band that plays is so important, regardless of what level they’re on, and those are small businesses themselves. By people being here, we are supporting each other.”

Phillip Bergstrom was one of those who came out, excited to hear from all the bands. A musician himself, Bergstrom said it was a great event for local artists.

“I love Fresno music, I love supporting all these beautiful musicians and artists,” Bergstrom said. “Craft beer, ice cream, coffee infused with nitrogen, it’s perfect.”

Quiroz said the event was all about bringing people together.

“For one day, you get to synergize for Fresno and for ourselves, and hopefully other things grow from it,” Quiroz said. “Already it’s my second year doing it and I’ve seen people come together, businesses, individuals. That’s what it’s all about.”

Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614

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