Easley celebrates Fourth of July with booming success

Gloomy skies and threats of rain may have put a damper on Friday afternoon’s attendance, but by early evening the music, vendors and carnival rides were in full swing.

Trayaham McJunkin, 8, enjoyed Easley’s Celebrate America festival from a different vantage point, climbing the trees in Old Market Square to get a better view.

Eric Johnson of Something Corny brings his entire family along when he sets up his kettle corn booth at area festivals. “It works out well. The kids can go play on the rides and stuff while I’m at work,” he said.

EASLEY — Despite the gloomy, rainy weather, Easley’s Celebrate America Festival managed to wrangle a respectable crowd for the annual Fourth of July holiday.

“I think the rain held off just long enough to let people come out and enjoy it (the festival),” said Samantha Wooley. Wooley and her family drove over from Central to attend on Friday.

“It was raining when we left and the kids were worried about the rides running,” Wooley continued. “But it’s looking like we might luck out.”

The scattered rain showers that had threatened the weekend’s fun remained at bay just long enough for people to get out and enjoy the festival as well as to help keep temperatures a bit cooler than usual for this time in July.

“At least it’s not 95 degrees out like it was last week,” Wooley joked. “But what are you going to do? It’s not like you can control the weather. You just have to show up and hope for the best. If people don’t want to come out, well, then my kids will have shorter lines (for the rides).”

Carnival workers stated that even if they had a rain delay on the rides, it was unlikely to last the duration of the festival.

“Unless it just really downpours, it usually only shuts things down for a half hour or so,” said Dante McKenneh.

On Saturday, much to the delight of the crowd, fireworks lit up the sky above downtown right on schedule, closing out the two-day event.

“You know, Easley’s not that big of a city. This (firework) show is pretty impressive,” said Lee-Ann Jorpanali. “We went down to (Spartanburg’s) Red, White and Boom last year but between the crowds and traffic … This is just better for our family.”

Jorpanali’s 4-year old son, Bailey, couldn’t agree more. Standing on his tip-toes and waving his arms with excitement, he exclaimed “That’s my favorite one!” after every explosion.

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