Photos: Rain Soaks Taylor Mill's Parkfest
The seventeenth annual Parkfest drew a great crowd Saturday at Pride Park in Taylor Mill. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and though the people wanted to stay and enjoy themselves, several severe storms, including a little bit of hail and a lot of rain, forced the city to close the festival at 6 p.m., sending everyone home. In the past the crowds were gauged at about 8,000 to 10,000 for the event, and this year was the first year the weather was so bad that the city had to cancel at least half of it.
The hours for this year's festival were extended to 11 p.m. after requests from visitors in previous years to keep it open after the fireworks show that typically closes the event after 9 p.m.
"This year we had two bands lined up," said Lieutenant Ron Wilson, who has been in charge of coordinating the event for the last six years. "We had the Rusty Griswolds, a band that plays '80's covers, and are very popular, and the Derek Alan band, which plays country and they are more or less starting out."
But when the rains came, the activities, like the Euro bungee, the bounce house, the huge slide, and most other outdoor things closed down. The petting zoo stayed open, though the animals didn't look as happy as they could have been. After the second storm, many of the vendors packed up, realizing the ground had turned into swampland and most of the remaining people were crowded under a food tent that provided some shelter, or the stone shelter where the Spirit of America cloggers entertained the captive crowd.
People stayed around for awhile to see if the rain would abate and the weather would clear up, so they bought food and huddled under the tents with an eye to the sky, but there was just too much rain. Officials from the city called a meeting around 5:30 p.m. and reluctantly decided to close it down.
"The very first year we held the event we held it in October and the weather was very cold," said Wilson. "There were clouds, but no real rain, so the people came and enjoyed themselves despite the cold. The next year we held it in September."
He went on to say they had been very lucky so far, but he spoke too soon. Saturday their weather luck ran out. Hopefully next year will go back to sunny and wonderful.
Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer