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Rain washes away parade
Cancellation may be first in Fair history
101209 PARADE RAIN 04 web
Members of the Georgia Southern marching band Southern Pride head home after Monday's Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade is canceled due to rain. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff


Tuesday at the Fair 

   * Fairgrounds open at 4 p.m today, with senior citizens ( 65 or better) admitted free.


    * Wrist stamp for $18 allows bearer to unlimited rides. These stamps will not be good for readmission to the fair if you leave. Tickets for rides still available as well.

 
    * Market Hog and Breeding Gilt show at 7 p.m. Local FFA and 4-H students compete, showing animals they raised and trained.


    *The Fearless Flores Thrill Show will be held nightly, as well as a ventriloquist act -  Sylvia and the Magic Trunk. Shows are free!


    * The Aldrich House and The Red Barn shows farm life " back in the day." Live animals for viewing.  Kids can also be "Farmer for a Day" at the Old Red Barn. All exhibits are free.

    Floats were soggy, marching bands were soaked and fire trucks used their windshield wipers Monday as they waited in line for the 48th Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Parade to begin. But, it never did.
    Statesboro Kiwanis members decided to cancel the parade — the first time in memorable history - around 5 p.m., just when the parade would have begun.
    Wary of possible bad weather, Statesboro Police Chief Stan York monitored public safety reports until 4 p.m. Monday, then decided it would be safe, albeit wet, for the parade to go on. But as the rain drops got bigger and some entrants began pulling out on their own, Kiwanis Parade Chairman Charles Sheets made the call — no parade.
    "It was for safety reasons," said Fair Chairman Darrell Colson. Kiwanis members waited until the last minute, hoping the rain would cease, but it did not - at least, until after everyone had cleared the area and gone home.
    Cheerleaders walked around in raincoats. The streets where parade entries lines up were a sea of umbrellas. A group of horseback riders sought shelter underneath trees, wearing yellow rain slickers, waiting to see what was going to happen. Kids danced in the backs of pickup trucks and on floats, laughing at the light rain, until it began to get a little heavier.
    Disappointed citizens who lined the streets to view the parade, a beloved tradition in Statesboro and Bulloch County, began leaving as the rain grew more insistent. Then, a Statesboro Police officer drove down the parade route, announcing the cancellation. Within minutes, downtown Statesboro was clear of parade participants and viewers.
    "This is  the first time I've ever seen ( a Kiwanis Fair parade) canceled in the 33 years I've been around," York said.
    Colson said he could not recall a parade being canceled, either.
    "We want safety first," he said. Club officials feared increasing rain would create unsafe conditions.
    There are no plans to reschedule the parade.  "It caught us by surprise," Colson said.
    While there was no thunder, lightning or strong winds - things that would have made York call the parade off - people were getting soaked, and in the cooler weather, with lots of flu going around, that wouldn't have been an ideal situation to carry on with plans, York said.
    Fair officials waited things out Monday night after the fairgrounds opened at 6 p.m., with plans for the midway rides to be dried off  and opened if the weather grew more pleasant, Colson said.


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