On Saturday evening, a small group of organizers huddled beneath a popup tent while rain battered the grounds of Joe Pope Field.
The evening began with rumblings of inclement weather, but residents who waited until Saturday night for fireworks were busy setting up blankets and preparing for the show. Children played in the grass, food was cooking in the concession stand, and the band warmed up the crowd.
Soon, the skies began to darken and all eyes turned to their smartphones to catch the latest radar images. It didn’t look great for Newnan.
As sprinkles turned into a steady, summer rain, people gathered under nearby shelters or inside their cars to see how long this rain might linger.
The band stopped, the sound system was shut down, and the event fell into a holding pattern. Under the tent, phone calls were made to local weather gurus to determine if a fireworks showcase could be squeezed in by Mother Nature’s new schedule.
Rain, thunder, lightning: Check, check and check. It still didn’t look good. However, radar indicated that around 8:30, there might be a window of opportunity to launch the fireworks without competing with a downpour of rain. The last thing organizers wanted to do was cancel the program.
At 8 p.m., the call was made and the show was on. However, the P.A. system had already been shut down due to the nasty weather, so those waiting around had no idea. The NTH sent out push alerts, updated social media and our webpage to try and get the word out as quickly as possible. Police cruised the area and alerted people.
At 8:30, the show began, and with a little sprinkle from above, Newnan received their annual fireworks extravaganza courtesy of The Newnan Rotary Club.
For the last 33 years, the club has presented a top-notch fireworks show for the community. Since the 4th fell right in the middle of a work week this year, the club chose to host their celebration on a Saturday in an effort to allow families to come out and relax – not worrying about getting up early the next day.
Just like the summer weather, it was a gamble. Next year, organizers confirmed it will be moved back to the 4th.
Things don’t always go according to plan, but the Rotary Club rolled with the punches and delivered a first-rate show for free that our community always looks forward to – rain or shine. The volunteers donated their time and money on a Saturday night and we’re grateful for the Rotary Club and their 'never say die’ attitude.