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Rain washes away parade crowd in Waynesboro

September 26, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Steady downpours reduced crowds Saturday at the triennial WaynesboroFest parade to a handful of dedicated Waynesboro residents armed with umbrellas, jackets and hats.

"Rain wasn't going to stop me from coming," Judy Webber said. "I come to them all."

Barely more than 100 people lined Main Street to watch the parade, with many packing up their chairs and heading for shelter when the first drops of rain fell.

The weather threatened since early morning to drench the event, but the sky did not open until Mayor Richard Starliper reached Potomac Street.

Starliper, like many in the parade, grinned and bore the chilly, wet weather.

The Waynesboro Area Senior High School Marching Band, a major draw for the parade, managed to play only one song, the school fight song, before band members had to conceal their instruments to avoid damaging them.

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The residents who remained to cheer on the dedicated dancers, cheerleaders, Shriners and bands making their way through the wet downtown filled every available doorway to stay dry.

Charles Duke stood in the doorway of his building. As he watched the puddles grow, he said he thought it was supposed to be a "beautiful day."

"It was supposed to rain (Friday)," he said.

While most people sought shelter, a few, such as Webber's twin daughters, Kayla and Chelsea, 8, remained on the curb, willing to get soaked for their town.

"I like Waynesboro," Chelsea said. "And I like listening to the bands. I'm having fun."

The high school band might only have played one song, but the Wayne Band got creative and sacrificed the mellow tones of its three-piece French horn section to hold a tarp so the band could continue to play, a move the crowd appreciated with cheers and waves.

WaynesboroFest continues this week with a host of events.

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