Rain couldn’t stop Fourth of July fun
Residents come out to celebrate Independence Day in La Plata
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.
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.
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.
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.