Storms dampen Fourth of July Picnic, Chamber announces ‘rain date’
By LPR Staff
Crackles, pops and spectacular lights filled the sky of Lockhart City Park on Tuesday night.
However, the light show was not related to the traditional Fourth of July fireworks show. Instead, the lights were provided by nature, a part of a nearly five-mile wide band of storms that settled over Central Texas at around 7 p
.m. on Tuesday.
Throughout most of the day, the sky looked ominous, but dozens of hopeful picnickers trekked to City Park anyway, browsing vendor booths, sharing barbecue and waiting for the fireworks show to begin.
Early in the day, the weather interfered with the City Pool”s Fourth of July Splash Day, but only for a moment.
“We had to call [the swimmers] out of the pool because of the thunder a few minutes ago,” said head lifeguard Carrie Simmang just after noon. “But it was only bad for a minute and then we let them get back in.”
Families and children of all ages embraced the free admission to the pool with Splash Day, which promised a variety of activities, including underwater “nickel diving” contests and races with the lifeguards.
At around 4 p.m., vendors started setting up tents and moon-walk style bouncing games around the City Pond. The tents later provided shelter for vendors and spectators as the winds picked up and the rain started to pour.
At 7:30 p.m., the skydive team from Skydive San Marcos was still hopeful that the event could take place, according to Stephanie Riggin.
“They”re going to wait before they cancel,” Riggin said after a phone call with skydivers. “They want to jump, so they won”t make the final decision until around 8 p.m.”
Moments later, Chamber of Commerce President Wayne Bock decided to cancel the event because of the weather.
As of press time on Wednesday, no rain date for the event had been announced.
“We paid the contract for the fireworks, but at this time, we haven”t got a reschedule date,” Bock said.
Bock noted that the Chamber of Commerce did not have rain insurance on the event, because it had never been needed – or even considered – in the past. He said the organization would likely not be entitled a refund from the professional contractors that had been scheduled to orchestrate the fireworks show.
The Dale community was undaunted by the rain, however.
According to Dale resident Diane Laube, as soon as the rain and thunder left the area, Steve Laube and Herbert Brite began setting up the display at the Dale Community Center. Mrs. Laube said the Dale Community Center parking lot was full of spectators, waiting in their cars to avoid the rain, wondering if the skies would clear enough for the fireworks to go forward.
“With the distant lightning as a backdrop, the show was awesome, as always,” she said. “There really isn”t a bad seat anywhere in the house — or on the Community Center lawn.
While the Lockhart Fourth of July Picnic fireworks display is funded by the Chamber of Commerce and corporate sponsors, the Dale Community Fireworks Show is funded entirely by community donations and run by volunteers.
Editor”s note: The Lockhart Chamber of Commerce announced on Thursday, July 6 that the fireworks show has been rescheduled to Monday, Sept. 4, 2006.