Rain can’t dampen spirits

Published 9:14 pm Monday, July 4, 2011

A prolonged thunderstorm brought an early end to the city’s Stars and Stripes Spectacular celebration at Constant’s Wharf on Monday night, but it couldn’t dampen the good mood and patriotism of those who showed up early to the would-be party.

“We’re from Washington state, and we’re having a good time regardless,” said new area resident Ron Sandifer, who took refuge on the back porch at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Email newsletter signup

The event had been planned to include children’s activities, music by Island Boy, concessions and a fireworks finale. However, the rain arrived just as the party was gearing up.

About 200 or so people who came early sought shelter under vendors’ tents or in the hotel when the thunderstorm rolled in about 5:30 p.m.

“It’s great fun for five bucks,” said Melanie Curz, who said her family comes every year. “We just hang out. The kids play and the adults talk.”

After an hour of rain, thunder and lightning with no sign of letting up, the city canceled the rest of the evening’s festivities. The fireworks will be rescheduled for a TGIF event later in the summer, Parks and Recreation director Lakita Frazier said.

Among those who arrived at the party before the bad weather, most said they come to the event every year. But for some, it was the first time.

“We’ve been busy moving,” said Joe Lafferty, who just relocated to Suffolk about three months ago. “We heard it on the radio and said we might as well check it out.”

Once the event was canceled, a few people stuck around just to enjoy the company on the hotel’s porch. Most said they’d be back when the pyrotechnics show is rescheduled.