After a steady daylong downpour July 4 and weather reports indicating the storm was not moving out of the area, the Peabody Fourth Fest Celebration Society had little choice but to cancel the fireworks show. The announcement came at about 7 p.m.
Parade organizers Tammy Whiteside and Rose Thomason stuck with the original plan for the annual parade down Walnut Street until heavy rains began about half an hour before the 5 p.m. starting time.
Those two events have been rescheduled for Saturday. The parade will begin at 5 p.m., with lineup at the high school an hour earlier. The fireworks show will begin at dusk. Admission buttons already purchased for the show still are good. They may also be purchased at the gate Saturday night.
Another activity on the list of rescheduled events is the ice cream sundae extravaganza on the library lawn.
Peabody Historical Society had planned to serve old fashioned homemade ice cream and toppings from 2:30 p.m. until the parade ended. They will go ahead with that plan on July 10.
“We also were pleased to learn that many of the food vendors will be coming back to the park on Saturday,” Fourth Fest head Lisa Hodges said. “So people can come out early and enjoy traditional July Fourth foods.”
The flea market, car show, and kid’s games have not been rescheduled.
“We are sympathetic to the people who traveled to Peabody for the fireworks and other events and will be unable to return on Saturday,” Hodges said.
Some events did take place
Farmers Market vendors were able to round up some tents and host their burger fry in Santa Fe Park as planned. The turnout was respectable with the number of customers served just short of the 2009 meal on a sunny day with an active group of car show enthusiasts nearby.
The horseshoe tournament proceeded as planned and after a soggy two and a half hours, winners were announced.
The annual dog show dodged the bad weather all together when American Legion Auxiliary sponsors changed the event to Saturday.
A scheduled book sale by Peabody Township library took place in the basement of the library instead of on the front lawn, but the library board reported satisfactory sales.
Randy Dallke and his daughter Roxanne run a family fireworks stand on the east side of Peabody every year. They thought the intensity of the rain and the fact that events were canceled hurt their business to some extent.
“When the fireworks show was canceled three years ago, it was good for our business,” Dallke said. “But that night it was a light misting rain and many people were already at the park or ready to go to the park when it was canceled. So they came and bought more fireworks to shoot at home. This year it was just too wet and we think people didn’t have the enthusiasm for it.”
The Dallkes did get a boost in sales because the city and county allowed individuals to shoot fireworks on July 5 instead of enforcing the usual July 4 midnight cutoff.
Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke reminds the community that personal fireworks will not be allowed on July 10.
“We hope everyone will go to the park and enjoy the show,” he said. “But citizens won’t be allowed to shoot fireworks at home.”
For more information about the fireworks show, contact Preston or Lisa Hodges at (620) 983-2970. For information about the parade contact Tammy Whiteside at (316) 344-8380.