The chocolate/vanilla swirl betrayed Colleen Sroka on Saturday just after an employee at Welch’s Dairy Cream handed her the waffle cone.

Drip.

Drip. Glop.

Drip.

It was about 3 p.m., and the thermometer of a car parked on a nearby blacktop lot said it was 92 degrees.

But with the humidity, it felt like 96 in this Akron suburb, according to the Weather Channel.

“I can’t believe it’s so hot,” said Colleen, who attends Copley High School.

She and her family spent the morning picking blueberries at a farm in Peninsula.

Despite being slathered in sunscreen, Colleen’s skin was now showing hints of pink.

The National Weather Service on Saturday blanketed most of northern Ohio with a heat advisory until 10 p.m., warning that highs would ultimately reach about 95, but would have a heat index — what it feels like when you combine the air temperature with the humidity — of 100 to 104.

That, the government agency said, is not only uncomfortable, but potentially dangerous and urged residents to check on family, friends and neighbors.

The early summer heat wave isn’t leaving soon, either.

Sunday’s temperatures in Greater Akron are expected to be just as warm, the weather service said, and heat index values will linger in the upper 90s through Wednesday’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Additional heat advisories are expected.

Soaking in the sun

While some wilted in the warmth Saturday, others soaked it in.

“Makes the tomatoes grow,” said Jill Cabe, who spent the afternoon with her boyfriend, Alan Medvick, at the 15th annual Ukrainian Festival at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Firestone Park. “I love the heat, and the beer is cold,” she said.

Inside the church, members worked reheating pierogis they had made before the festival.

It was warm, but they purposefully kept the door to the kitchen closed so the extra heat from cooking didn’t seep into the area where guests were eating.

Dave Griffiths, who lives in Hinckley Township, made sure the volunteers at the Brown Street church had extra bags of ice “for cooling.”

The outside bar — where there would be more eating, a polka band and dancing — was stocked with extra ice, too.

In the city’s Sherbondy Hill neighborhood, Perkins Woods Pool on Saturday had braced for extra swimmers trying to stay cool while visitors sizzled alongside food at the Rib, White and Blue festival downtown.

Jody Gates of Fairlawn started her day early, before the temperatures peaked.

She was one of about 2,100 people from 20 states who ran Saturday in the National Interstate 8K and 1 mile, part of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race series.

(Aiman Scullion of Akron and Emma McCarron of Mansfield finished first in the 8K men’s and women’s division.)

By noon, Gates was at the Northside Marketplace with her daughters, Riley Williams, 20, and Claire Williams, 17, eating ice cream.

“We’re just trying to stay cool,” Claire Williams said.

Their orders at the Akron Creamery were made by Caitlin Shook and Sereeda Clark — both 18 and recent graduates of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Crafted ice cream

Ice cream here isn’t scooped and swirled soft-serve style from a machine.

It goes from liquid, to solid, to a half-dozen or so rolls — think scrolls made of ice cream — served in bowls.

It’s inspired by frozen treats in Thailand and has been a trend in U.S. big cities since about 2016. Shook and Clark work more like hibachi restaurant chefs than traditional ice cream servers.

They start by pouring a milk and sugar liquid base onto one of two large, circular metal plates chilled to nearly zero degrees.

They spread out the mixture in a thin layer, and it quickly freezes.

From there, they add bananas, chocolate, Froot Loops cereal or whatever else someone wants and then use blades in both hands to mix the toppings in, repeatedly smoothing the concoction into a thin layer.

When it’s mixed and reflattened, they push against the ice cream with a spatula, and it rolls onto itself in strips as wide as the spatula.

“It doesn’t look hard,” Shook said, “but by the end of the day, your arms and your back can get tired.”

Outside, the chairs atop the new mural brightening a swath of the Northside parking lot were empty Saturday as people sought refuge from the heat.

At 1:30 p.m., a little farther west in Highland Square, no one was at the umbrella tables outside Mary Coyle ice cream or Aladdin’s, either.

Keeping the faith

But the heat couldn’t keep Matt Pittenger from the corner of West Market Street and Cleveland-Massillon Road on Saturday.

“Are you saved?” he hollered at a passing car, holding a sign saying, “the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Pittenger, who lives in Tallmadge, said members of Faith Baptist Church in Copley have been waving signs at the busy Montrose intersection on Saturdays for about four years, hoping to awaken people’s faith.

On Saturday, he wore a wide-brim straw hat to shield himself from the sun, but his face was still flushed.

“It is hot today, but,” he said, smiling and pausing, “hell is hotter.”

Beacon Journal reporter Katie Byard contributed to this report. Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or agarrett@thebeaconjournal.com.