No one wants to be grumpy on the 4th of July, but c'mon...you've got to be kidding.
All day long, visitors to Riverfest enjoyed the cooler air brought by the clouds hiding the sun. Yes, it looked like it was going to rain most of the day. But after hours of being out there, it became easy to tell the clouds were not quite grey enough to cause any problems. They drifted over, none staying long enough to drip any drops on us.
So people ate; did crafts; kids got their faces painted; vendors sold their wares; people sang karaoke. There was laughter, camaraderie, a general sense of community. It was a good time.
Of course, as the day came to a close and the sun began to go down, more people arrived at Riverwalk to enjoy the upcoming fireworks.
The crowd got thicker and so did the clouds.
Over the years, many of us as children wondered what makes it the "right" time to start fireworks? Ask any adult what time fireworks will start and you will be told, "At dusk." Ahh...the mysterious dusk. It still leaves us wondering, "What do those invisible people who light the fireworks know that we don't?"
Turns out, nothing.
We saw the storm coming up from the south. Even in the moments before dusk was official, it was not difficult to make out the clouds that were moving much more slowly and looking a lot darker.
An urgency began to grow in the crowd, "When are they going to start? It's going to rain." We could hear the mumbles amongst the people and their children, waiting patiently.
Then the sky opened up - and the fireworks began. It was difficult to tell which was first, seemed like people began to move when someone mentioned lightning. Then the rain really got folks running for shelter. They were big 'ole drops too.
We aren't sure if there really was lightning Saturday night as the rain and the fireworks began, but one thing is certain.
We got soaked.
So did anyone who had been out there waiting for the show.
The thing is, if the fireworks had begun about 20 minutes earlier, no one would have had to miss part of the show, looking for shelter or stand in the rain to enjoy the display.
We're wondering who was responsible for making that decision? Surely they too saw the storm coming up on Riverwalk. It was annoying at the time to think if they had started earlier, it would have ended better.
Regardless, we were spared the danger of lightning and other than a few face-paint masterpieces melting down the front of soaking wet children, no real damage was done.
Better luck next year.