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Snellville spirit celebrated despite rain

Staff Photo: Camie Young
McKenzie Patterson, from left, Mary Grace Auld and Madison Rousseau watch as Doodles the Clown creates balloon animals during a party event at Snellville City Hall, where people waiting for the canceled city parade were invited inside Saturday.

Staff Photo: Camie Young McKenzie Patterson, from left, Mary Grace Auld and Madison Rousseau watch as Doodles the Clown creates balloon animals during a party event at Snellville City Hall, where people waiting for the canceled city parade were invited inside Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Camie Young Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz poses for a picture in front of a birthday cake created by the Red Hat Divas as part of a float for the Snellville Days celebration of its 40th anniversary. After the parade was canceled Saturday due to rain, the cake was moved indoors and City Hall was opened to an impromptu party for participants.

SNELLVILLE — Red Hat Divas spent hours decorating their float for the annual Snellville Days parade.

But when the rain caused officials to cancel the parade, the big birthday cake simply became the centerpiece of an impromptu 40th birthday bash for the festival.

“The only thing we are disappointed is we didn’t get to see the assembled float,” said Sandy Korschgen. “But it translated well. ... We’ve had fun, and that’s the major thing.”

With a rainy weekend bearing the possibility of flooding, Mayor Kelly Kautz called off the parade for only the second time in its 40 year history. The two-day festival was also canceled.

With participants gathering in City Hall’s parking lot, Kautz opened up a planned VIP breakfast to anyone. Instead of thousands gathering at Briscoe Park, about a hundred milled around in the community room, including a beauty queen and a goat.

Members of a Brownie troop still got their faces painted, played with balloon animals and danced with the Chick-fil-A cow and other entertainers.

Nelson Williams, a life-long resident who served on the City Council when the first Snellville Days parade was held, said a lot has changed over the years, but rain usually doesn’t get in the way of a good time.

“There will be another year,” he said.

Kautz, who has memories of creating floats as a girl for her dad’s hardware store, said she had to put people’s safety before the event.

But even the rain outside couldn’t dampen the spirits in City Hall.

“This is what community is all about,” Kautz said, as she surveyed the smiling faces around her, “not parades, but people coming together.”

Comments

SnellvilleEE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

In past years, Snellville Days was held in the rain. So, why the unexpected announcement this morning? Also, does this open Snellville to lawsuits from vendors?

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BrendaLee 11 months, 2 weeks ago

SnellvilleEE, there is likely a clause in the vendor contract relative to cancelations due to weather so I doubt anybody will file a lawsuit. The vendor's still have their goods to sell at next weeks festival whereever that might be.

That said, I'm not a Kelly Kautz fan at all but this was the right call and opening city hall for people to gather was also an appropriate gesture.

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mustardandbiscuit 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed. In fact, I only remember Snellville Days in the rain when the rain was sporadic and light. Not a monsoon and unending like it was yesterday. I remember the 2 instances where the festival was cancelled in the past and it was just as justified. Good call.

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Bufordite 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My sympathies go to the vendors. Many of them rely on these events as their primary source of income. With the high price of fuel and transportation I'm certain some of them sustained a significant financial hit this weekend. It is sad to think that the threat of rain is enough reason for government to take away the individual's ability to decide whether or not one should attend this festival.

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Haughton 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Are you speaking as a vendor or a spectator? I have attended more than a dozen Snellville Days celebrations, the decision to cancel was the right thing to do. I would not have gone in the heavy rains that occured on Saturday. Any vendor that relies solely on event income knows their customer base are fair weathered friends.

Mother Nature was speaking loud and clear this weekend. Blaming the government on the weather?

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SnellvilleEE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Again, why the unexpected announcement? That is, why wait until the last minute to cancel? Also, why were all park gates locked last Sunday?

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Haughton 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like the forecast worsened and maybe they actually listened to what the weather people had to say. The inclement weather worsened as the event drew near:

http://snellville.patch.com/blog_posts/rain

A Patch writer also noted that the gates were most likely locked to protect the vendor's property until they could retun to retrieve it.

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SnellvilleEE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

1) So you don't mind airlines canceling your flight at the last moment...and not giving you a refund. 2) Locking the gates is only necessary at night.

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Sthrnldy 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Bless Your Hearts, SnellvilleEE & Bufordite! Are you serious? Snellville Days 2013 was a washout! Get over it! There are plenty of other events in the area and these vendors will reap the rewards another weekend!

Why don't you ask Mayor Kautz these earth shattering questions? I hear she is a wonderful mayor and would love to hear your opinions of her executive order to cancel Snellville Days 2013! mailto:KKautz@snellville.org

LOL!

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SnellvilleEE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I am only interested in learning the truth. So, your comments are useless.

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Haughton 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If you want to the truth try contacting Mayor Kautz. Her email address was provided by another poster.

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SnellvilleEE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

That would be equivalent to deciding a case based only on a defendant's testimony.

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cheapseats 11 months, 1 week ago

The fields where people would park were soaked. Cars would get stuck. People would fall. The fields would be ruined. 70% of the vendors cancelled. The fields were so wet that the kid's field could not be inflated and set up. With the electrical equipment at the stage, the entertainment was a hazard. Having the BMX Stunt Show on wet pavement was a danger to the performers and the patrons. The gates were closed Sunday because there were rental items everywhere: tents, stages, etc. This is the same reason the gates are locked on Thursday night at 6pm before the event. Need any more info??????

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SnellvilleEE 11 months, 1 week ago

Your response is the first with any value. Thank you. To answer your question - yes. Why the unexpected announcement this morning? Why wait until just before the scheduled opening to shutdown?

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cheapseats 11 months, 1 week ago

I did want to add one more thing. A long time sponsor did come forward and agreed to give out Welcome Bags from the festival at her restaurant. They even had coupons in the bags from her competitors. That is dedication to Snellville Days. Snellville has great businesses and great citizens and great employees. It really does take a full year to pull it off and it is a bitter disappointment when something like this happens. There are people who have been to all 40 Snellville Days and volunteered for many, many years. I count this Festival in that 40 number as well because there is one lady who has been to the last 39 and worked tirelessly on this one and showed up even in the rain (her 40 year record is not broken). My hats off to all those wonderful volunteers who did stay out in the cold and rain Friday and Saturday. YOU ROCK!!!!

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