Spirits remain high despite rainstorm

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Rain interrupted the start of Fourth of July festivities at the Augusta Common on Saturday evening, causing attendees to crowd together under terraces.

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Hannah Johnson (from center to right), Jessica Barela, 5, and Christopher Barela, 3, cool off in the misting tent at the Augusta Common event.   Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Hannah Johnson (from center to right), Jessica Barela, 5, and Christopher Barela, 3, cool off in the misting tent at the Augusta Common event.

But the showers quickly dissipated, allowing the big fireworks show to go on.

"The fireworks are the best part. It's just an awesome display," said John Harris, 26, who was downtown with his 7-year-old daughter, Kaiya. "It's something to do. My daughter enjoys it."

Augusta special events director Yolanda Marshall said the weather was keeping the crowd smaller than the year before, when the city took over the event.

She said the event at the Common is beloved by many families, with activities for children and plenty of food and drink .

Not everyone is happy with what the event has become since it was taken over by the city and lost its pony rides. Georgia Brown and her husband, George, said they came out for the fireworks, but it wasn't just the rain that had them disappointed.

"There's nothing to do," said 12-year-old David, as his brothers Freddy, 17, and Robert, 9, looked on in agreement.

The scaled-back event, which Richmond County Deputy Walter Ashley said used to start before 4 p.m. and stretch over to activities at the depot, does mean less work for authorities. He said 20 officers were working Saturday night, not including those that would help block off parts of the road to help people exit safely after the fireworks.

Even as the rain fell, Jerry Johnson was smiling and laughing with customers buying fried fish from his stand on the east side of the Common.

The owner of Amelia's Fish Market on Deans Bridge Road said the event is great for business and he always stays "until they make me leave."

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raul 07/03/11 - 12:04 am
The weather was keeping the

The weather was keeping the crowds lower than the year before? I didn't think it was even supposed to rain today. Sounds like David, Freddy, and Robert summed up the real reason.

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