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Weather cant hold off fireworks
Billy Burruss picks up a cup of homemade strawberry ice cream at the Cumming Fairgrounds. - photo by Jim Dean

Despite a steady drizzle, the city of Cumming delivered its annual July Forsyth fireworks show as promised Wednesday night.

A determined, if not smaller than normal, crowd of spectators was rewarded when the show began on time, at 9:30 p.m.

Dave Horton, the director of the Cumming Fairgrounds, estimated 10,000 people attended, about half the normal turnout.

“We were worried about it, but it’s not going to stop us from coming,” said Brandi Helms, a Cumming resident.

The first boom was greeted with loud screams.

“The weather held off for us just right. We got that window that we were hoping for,” said Horton, who was confident the plan would hold.

In the hours leading up to the show, clouds covered every visible inch of the sky. But they didn’t darken the mood among those wandering the fairgrounds.

“If it’s just a drizzle or whatever, we’re prepared with umbrellas,” said Don Sherman, a 15-year city resident. “Why not, we’re already here.”

Not everybody was there, however. Vendors noticed the smaller turnout.

“We didn’t do as much food as we normally do. We got kind of spooked [by the weather],” said Mike Sullivan, who brought his food stand to the fairgrounds from Phenix City, Ala. He usually sells corn dogs, lemonade and other food but this year the menu was limited to funnel cakes.

“Last year, I waited 45 minutes to get one of these,” said Elaine Fowler of Jasper as she left the stand with a cake.

The Crawfords of Alpharetta, who own the Repicci’s Italian Ice stand, debated whether to attend this year.

“There’s more people than we expected,” Trish Crawford said.

For those who usually fight the traffic and crowds surrounding the fairgrounds, this year’s wet weather gave them incentive to get a closer look.

“We usually are up by [Tri-County Plaza], but we figured this year, with the rain, we can make it [inside the fairgrounds],” said Lynn Lazlo of Cumming, who attended with her two sons.

And with the smaller crowd, there was plenty of room inside and around the fairgrounds.

Many people stayed huddled under the covered arena or building overhangs until the fireworks started.

Others watched through the windshields of their cars parked along the roads and parking lots surrounding the fairgrounds.

Barry Glover, a 55-year resident of Cumming, said he has noticed a trend of bad weather in past years. Along with it, however, has come the fireworks show’s resilience.

“It seems about every year there’s a thunderstorm or something,” Glover said, “but it always goes off.”