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Thousands gather at Mall of Georgia despite rain, canceled fireworks

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Decked out in her patriotic clothes, Tori Kyle, 3, of Buford, dances to the music during the Mall of Georgia's Fabulous Fourth on Thursday afternoon.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Decked out in her patriotic clothes, Tori Kyle, 3, of Buford, dances to the music during the Mall of Georgia's Fabulous Fourth on Thursday afternoon.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Emilie Ward, from left, Sarah Parker and Leah Ward stay covered during a rain shower at the Mall of Georgia's Fabulous Fourth on Thursday afternoon.

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Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Despite some rain showers, crowds gather to listen to the music during the Mall of Georgia's Fabulous Fourth on Thursday afternoon.

BUFORD -- Most of the Fourth of July events based in Gwinnett were either postponed or canceled due to the buckets of rain dumped in the area -- but not the Mall of Georgia's afternoon festivities. Yet the fireworks display was eventually cut short.

The Buford destination kicked off its 11th annual Fabulous Fourth at 2 p.m. despite the soggy situation. With the promise of activities and fireworks, thousands of people showed up for the day.

"Honestly, there are a lot of people here with patriotic flair ready to party with us," said Carol Cox, director of marketing and business development at Mall of Georgia. "By looking at the parking lots, which are almost full, we know there are a lot of people here, but most of them are inside staying dry."

Ariel Lopez of Norcross was one of the attendees, but she didn't wait inside watching the skies. She came prepared with a poncho, umbrella and an American flag.

"I wouldn't miss this event," she said with a huge grin on her face. "A little rain has never hurt anybody."

Although the Village Pavilion was soaked, several people set up shop in the grass with foldable chairs to listen to the live music. Throughout the day, Brent Gafford Band, Vintage Boogie Band and The Woody's took the stage.

Besides the brave few, most attendees hid under the stores' awnings to keep dry while dancing to the music.

Some of the other activities for the day didn't go as planned, which wasn't a problem for the children. Several of them played in the interactive fountain in front of the food court.

"Hey, my kids are having a good time. That's all I care about," Roger Campbell of Dacula said. "But I won't join them."

With so much rain in the area, Cox and her crew had to keep an eye on the radar.

"We've been watching the weather as close as we can," she said. "We're going to shoot them off in between showers as long as it's dark out."

And that they did. Around 10 p.m. the initial fireworks display took off with a few technical difficulties. After shooting off a few fireworks, the show stopped when more problems arose -- attendees sat in the dark for more than 20 minutes before two more fireworks were shot. Needless to say, the show ended up being canceled when officials announced there were electrical problems due to the rain.

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have to cancel tonight's fireworks display," mall officials wrote on their Facebook page. "We have tried everything possible to make this event a success, our sincere apologies."

The Movies Under the Stars series, featuring "Playing For Keeps," following the fireworks show, also got canceled.

Comments

Gwinnettsince1991 1 year ago

So what are you going to do to make up for this debacle? Either it was a bad decision to try and have the show or it was a bad company putting on the show? I would like to know which is it? And i won't be coming back next year.

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Why_not 1 year ago

If the rain compromised their electronic firing mechanisms, not only would the fireworks not fire properly, it could also have been a huge safety issue to try and continue. They probably made the right decision. Even though many, many people were there to see the display, they did not charge admission so it possibly will not be rescheduled.

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