The silver lining to the rainy clouds that floated over Somerset on Saturday was that at least waterparkgoers got more bang for their buck — literally.
The heavy moisture forced the pyrotechnicians at SomerSplash Water Park to alter their plans and set off the annual fireworks show the old-fashioned way, leading to watchers getting more than an hour’s worth of colorful bursts in the darkened sky.
All in all, the wet weather didn’t dampen too many spirits around Somerset City Hall. Mayor Eddie Girdler said that he was “extremely pleased” with the fireworks show and SomerBlast — the city’s yearly Independence Day celebration — as a whole.
“Everything, despite the weather, turned out mighty fine,” said Girdler.
“I think we proved to people that we are a water park, whether it’s a large crowd or a small crowd,” he added. “The kids didn’t seem to mind the weather.”
Certainly, numbers were down. SomerBlast, with an all-day itinerary of events for the young and young-at-heart held at the water park on Ky. 2227, saw about a 50 percent drop in SomerSplash attendance, according to Girdler.
However, those who just came by to see the fireworks still did so in high numbers. People were invited to park in the lots of surrounding schools and take a shuttle in to the park area; the lots were full, noted Girdler.
What they saw was longer than the usual 35-40 minute fireworks show. Girdler explained that usually the fireworks are synchronized to go off at certain time to provide maximum viewing effect via a computer program.
“But the manufacturer of the fireworks told us that in this type of weather, where you had standing water, the ground was saturated with moisture, that there could be a possibility of a malfunction in the computer system,” said Girdler. “They did not recommend setting them off that way. ... Computer wire running through water was not the best idea.”