Sunday, August 31, 2003

Wet day may await Riverfesters

Event has never been canceled

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Guide to Riverfest
Today's forecast: 99 percent chance of fireworks.

Rain is forecast for late this afternoon and evening, but organizers of today's 27th Annual Riverfest and Toyota/WEBN fireworks celebration say they will do everything possible to make sure the show goes on.

The event has never been canceled, for weather or anything else.

Art Rozzi, the man who designs the annual fireworks extravaganza, said the 8,000 pounds of fireworks can be launched rain or shine.

"We can shoot in the rain, no problem," he said. "It would be my choice to shoot. But if we have a bad storm, we can always try to wait it out."

One thing that won't happen, said event spokeswoman Melissa Hopman, is rescheduling. Hopman said any decision to cancel would be made jointly by Cincinnati police and fire departments, the Rozzis and event organizers.

"There are no specific guidelines for canceling the event," Hopman said. "We're going to do everything in our power to get it going."

There is a 50 percent chance of rain this afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the mid-70s, with a greater chance of rain later in the day, said Greg Tipton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

If it does rain, expect to get wet. Umbrellas are not allowed along riverfront viewing sites.


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