Rain couldn’t stop Fourth of July fun

Res­i­dents come out to cel­e­brate In­de­pen­dence Day in La Plata

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­news.com

The fourth of July is nor­mally hot, hu­mid and sticky with peo­ple out grilling hot dogs and ham­burg­ers, slic­ing wa­ter­melon and prep­ping their fire­works to light up the night sky.

But this year, noth­ing was nor­mal. The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice’s fore­cast called for rain with a 90 per­cent chance of pre­cip­i­ta­tion by noon in Charles County.

De­spite the rain and can­celed wa­ter­melon smash­ing con­tests, the Town of La Plata and its cit­i­zens still showed up for fun out­side of town hall.

Even in the driz­zle, there were hot dogs siz­zling, wa­ter­mel­ons be­ing cut and wa­ter slides. The La Plata Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment showed up to pro­vide a shower for chil­dren at­tend­ing the event.

David Swann, a vol­un­teer who at­tends the yearly wa­ter­melon bash, said the turnout seemed to be more than it had ever been de­spite fore­casted rain and some events can­celled.

“We’re still out here through it all,” Swann said. “There’s a lot of peo­ple here. Even in the rain.”

There were “hun­dreds” of peo­ple at­tend­ing the event, Swann said, not­ing

there were long lines be­fore the fes­tiv­i­ties even started. The event hap­pens once a year, he said, so peo­ple wanted to show up and be part of the com­mu­nity’s tra­di­tion “rain or shine.”

Colleen Wil­son, the spe­cial events co­or­di­na­tor for the Town of La Plata, said they did not take ac­tual at­ten­dance num­bers for the event, but there were as many peo­ple at­tend­ing in wet weather as there have been dur­ing days with sun­shine in the past.

“We don’t keep track, but we had a good crowd,” Wil­son said. “With the weather and ev­ery­thing, it was good.”

Wil­son said the event was great and with ev­ery­one show­ing up, “it looked like the peo­ple at­tend­ing had a good time.”

The town chose to can­cel the wa­ter­melon bash­ing early on, Wil­son said, be­cause of the weather. They did not want to can­cel the town’s tra­di­tion, but thought it would be for the best and al­low peo­ple to get out quickly without hav­ing a ma­jor cleanup to do in case the rain came down hard.

“We wanted to have as many things as we pos­si­bly could,” Wil­son said. “But we just de­cided that it was bet­ter to be safe on that camp without know­ing what was go­ing to hap­pen.”

Over­all, Wil­son said, the event was a suc­cess. Swann agreed.

The peo­ple of La Plata would not al­low their In­de­pen­dence Day to be ru­ined, Swann said, “by some weather.”

“Not this year,” he said.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

On July 4, the Town of La Plata had its an­nual Fourth of July Wa­ter­melon Bash on the west lawn of the La Plata Town Hall.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL SYKES II

Vol­un­teers lay out sliced wa­ter­melon for at­ten­dees to en­joy dur­ing Mon­day’s wa­ter­melon bash­ing fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing In­de­pen­dence Day.

Mal­lory Thomp­son, 10, a stu­dent at Wil­liam A. Diggs Ele­men­tary School, slides down a wa­ter slide at the Fourth of July Wa­ter­melon Bash in La Plata.

Isaac Ven­tura, 8, of Wal­dorf slides down one of the tallest wa­ter slides at the Fourth of July Wa­ter­melon Bash in La Plata.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Rea­gan Free­man, 1, of New­burg and her mother, Court­ney Free­man, greet the Chick-fil-A cow mas­cot at the Fourth of July Wa­ter­melon Bash in La Plata.

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