Fourth Of July Fireworks Postponed In W-B Due To Rain
WILKES-BARRE — Thunderstorms and downpours on Wednesday led city officials to postpone the fireworks display and musical entertainment headlining this year’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July at Kirby Park.
The fireworks and a performance by Eddie Day and The Starfires have been rescheduled to Sunday evening, according to Tyler Ryan, executive assistant for Mayor Tony George.
Most vendors will return to the park Saturday, when amusement rides will be open from 5 to 10 p.m., and again on Sunday, when they will be open noon to 10 p.m.
Eddie Day and The Starfires will perform Sunday, beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dusk.
Despite the postponement, Ryan said, most food vendors had planned to remain at the park Wednesday until dusk, weather-dependent, Ryan said.
Prior to the rain, which hit mid-afternoon, event attendance was encouraging.
As noontime temperatures soared, David and Deanne Williams of Forty Fort stopped at Manning’s Ice Cream truck, parked along the park’s main path with dozens of other vendors, for a strawberry shake for David before the couple headed over for some soft-serve vanilla for Deanne at a different vendor.
“We had potato pancakes, we had pizza, we had French fries,” Deanne said, adding that the couple attends every year, although they don’t stay for the fireworks.
“We come for the food,” David said, adding he and Deanne were happy with an expanded selection of vendors, especially the first appearance of “Pierogie Joe” Stanavage at the Independence Day celebration.
Danielle Deiulio, who was scooping ice cream with Sam Bussinelli in the Manning’s truck, said sales had been “a little busy,” and they were just getting their “first real rush” of customers.
Mark and Amy Umphred of Kingston bicycled to the park from their Kingston home with kids Jalen, 11, and Maris, 8, in tow for a free bicycle helmet giveaway from HKQ Kids Fund.
“It’s a great thing for the city. I was a city resident for 25 years. We moved to Kingston five years ago. But it’s more of a community event than a city event because it brings people from all around. It’s a wonderful time; the park looks beautiful and the maintenance crews always do a great job,” Mark Umphred said.
Umphred said the family waited in the long line for bicycle helmets for about a half hour.
Joe Quinn, who founded the giveaway 11 years ago, said he started the foundation to support children’s activities and safety programs to “give back to the community.”
“In the 11th year, to see a turnout like this, you can see the demand is still there. Unfortunately, there are so many parents that are so strapped economically, they are always faced with choices and can’t always purchase the safety items for their children,” Quinn said.
“We have families who come back year after year as their children grow into different sizes,” he said.
Quinn said he’s especially proud of the employees of Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn Law who “give up a substantial amount of time” every year to distribute the helmets. “I’m just really proud of their efforts,” he said.
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