Lexington's July Fourth fireworks, parade go on despite rain

tharrison@herald-leader.comJuly 4, 2013 

Lexington went ahead with its celebrations on Thursday, one of the wettest July Fourths on record, although some other Central Kentucky communities canceled or postponed festivities.

Thursday's rainfall in Lexington totaled 1.70 inches, meteorologist Chris Bailey said Friday on his weather blog, but some areas got 2 inches or more. The record for July Fourth rainfall is 1.83 inches in 1935.

In addition, the high of 71 degrees was the second coldest high temperature ever recorded for the day, Bailey said. Last year was the hottest 4th of July on record at 99 degrees.

Bailey forecast that heavy rain will continue throughout the weekend, with rounds of storms and a continued flood watch on Friday and scattered storms Saturday and Sunday.

"The potential is still there for some high water this weekend," Bailey said.

Renee Jackson, president of the Downtown Lexington Corporation, said the city left the decision about whether to postpone Lexington's fireworks display up to Zambelli Fireworks, the city's vendor for the display. Jackson said Zambelli Fireworks felt comfortable with shooting off the fireworks despite the showers, so the show went on. Mayor Jim Gray's office referred questions to Jackson.

The city also held its parade in the rain. Jackson said considering how many workers are required to work the parade — 300 per shift — it would not have been feasible to reschedule it.

Despite the deluge, hundreds of spectators showed up downtown in the morning for the Bluegrass 10,000, as well as for the parade. The city's other events, including Thursday Night Live from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Cheapside Park, also went on as planned.

Teresa Stacy, 61, said she came downtown because she likes being around everyone at the Fourth of July events. "We always come down every year," Stacy said.

Trisha Bayens of Louisville braved the weather for Thursday Night Live and the fireworks display afterward. Bayens, 24, said she thought it was worth it. "No matter what the weather is, you should be able to celebrate," Bayens said.

Rescheduled or canceled events in surrounding communities:

■The Danville/Boyle County fireworks display was rescheduled to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

■ The Versailles fireworks display was rescheduled to about 9:30 p.m. Sunday at Woodford County Park.

■ The Wilmore Festival of the Fourth was cancelled; it is not being rescheduled.

■ The fireworks display in Frankfort was postponed until Friday at dark.

Taylor Harrison: (859) 231-1324. Twitter: @heraldleader

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