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Storm Disrupts Duluth Festivities

Celebrants leave as thunderstorm drenches 'Duluth Celebrates America' at Scott Hudgens Park. Fireworks to be rescheduled for later this summer.

Wind and heavy rain interrupted “Duluth Celebrates America” at Scott Hudgens Park Tuesday (July 3) evening. The fireworks will be rescheduled for later this summer.

Canopies and umbrellas erected to provide shade from the summer sun became shelters for disappointed celebrants to huddle under as they tracked the thunderstorm on their cell phones and waited for it to pass.

Individual “sunbrellas” turned into “rainbrellas.” Hastily donned plastic rain slickers and windbreakers provided little relief from the storm that came up quickly. The wind toppled a couple of the canopies.

Many scurried to their cars as intermittent raindrops turned into a deluge and lightning began striking. A steady stream of vehicles left the park as the storm worsened.

Families who braved the hot weather and arrived early enjoyed inflatables, carnival rides, multiple food vendors, and musical entertainment during the afternoon. The celebration started at 4 p.m.

Just after Mayor Nancy Harris welcomed guests to the traditional Independence Day ceremony at 7 p.m., a member of the 116th U.S. Army Band sang the National Anthem, and the Full Circle band started playing, the rain began falling heavily.

The storm kept the highly anticipated fireworks display scheduled for shortly after 9 p.m. from happening. Jayne Madigan, events coordinator for the city, announced Wednesday that the fireworks will be rescheduled for later this summer.

"The fireworks will be rescheduled for a later date this summer. We will have an exact date by next week," Madigan said. 

Mack July 05, 2012 at 02:38 AM
A friend who lives in Duluth called today about last night. He got there around 5:30 or so. He said he was somewhat disappointed with what he saw. In years past they had a heavy military presence displaying the latest in what the military had to offer. We used to enjoy seeing these displays.He went on to say that it was more like a 'carnival side show' than that of a July 4th celebration of America. He knew the guys that came out years ago with a 'real train' that actually ran on tracks and only asked for donations, he thought they may be back and wanted to see that and not the 'lawnmower' train. When asked for a donation to offset expenses he reminded them of the money the city wasted on that round about and the new dog park. The best part of the night was the Military band and they could not play for long due to the heavy rain. Very disappointing evening, but the rain was something that could not be helped.
Jody July 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM
"Next week" has obviously come and gone, so does anyone know when the fireworks have been rescheduled for?
Faye Edmundson July 21, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Not yet. Waiting for city to announce date. I will be checking again.

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