‘Night Out’ rained out

Posted:  Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 8:45pm

The National Night Out, a 35-year-old national picnic joining families, town officials, and first responders, had its first rollout in Wiscasset Aug. 7.

Unfortunately, the weather had different plans.

Roughly 50 people turned out to have a picnic with their kids and meet first responders, new superintendent of schools Terry Wood and the parks and recreation director, Lisa Thompson. Wood had agreed to sit in a dunk tank. A bounce house was there for young kids. Face painting, hula hoop contests, sidewalk art, area nonprofits that affect children, such as Head Start, Girl Scouts, Substance Use Prevention Partnership, and small items provided by Wiscasset Ambulance Service such as packets of bandaids, stickers, and more were part of the event.

Shortly into the festivities, the first thunder rolled through the region. The bounce house was doused, the dunk tank never filled, the balloon tanks were put away, and children were called down off the climbing structures as lightning flashed close by.

The wind picked up and the rain began, while the carefully organized decorations blew away or fell over. As everyone gathered under the picnic shelter, pelted down and no one sat on the metal picnic benches as lightning continued to flash.

Some families tried to make it to their cars parked in the Community Center lot before the worst of the storm hit, but it moved quickly, and most got drenched.

Thompson encouraged those left to dig into the remaining food, including spaghetti and meatballs and pasta salad, while the rain fell.

“Who could have predicted this," Thompson asked, pointing out that the day had been clear and hot until then.

Attendees were philosophical. “Can’t fight Mother Nature,” Wood said with a shrug.