Rain dampens lots of parades
Despite sun dances and countless verses of "Rain, rain go away, come again another day," Mother Nature does not seem responsive to the pleas of numerous event organizers this weekend.
Three of the Valley's more popular events, the Ox Roast, classic car show on the Plaza and the Sonoma Skypark Family Fun Day, have all been canceled or postponed due to weather this weekend.
Sonoma Valley High School's graduation, however, will move forward rain or shine. Set for 6:30 p.m. at Arnold Field today, June 3, the school does not have a rain contingency plan other than covering the stage and diplomas with a canopy. School officials said there is simply no indoor space that will fit the crowd expected to attend. Family and friends watching from the audience are encouraged to bring ponchos or umbrellas to stay dry.
The possibility for rain is 80 percent overnight on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, but it remains to be seen when the wet weather will set in. Suzanne Sims, NWS spokeswoman, said there are two weather systems that will move into the area Friday, but no one can say when the skies will open up.
"They all have the potential for rain in the later afternoon and into the evening," she said, "so it's not looking good."
Saturday is expected to be more of the same, with rain continuing to put a damper on Valley events. The Historic Race Car Festival that falls in the middle of the Historic Motorsports Festival at Infineon Raceway, has been canceled because of the anticipated rain. Some of the cars that traditionally participate in the parade up Broadway are worth millions of dollars, many are open, and most owners don't like to get them drenched.
The historic car races, however, will proceed, in between rain showers, as will the Celebrate Sonoma activities at the track. (see the accompanying story on A1). Infineon officials say the Plaza car parade will be back next year.
Also on Saturday, the Sonoma Skypark was planning to host its Family Fun Day. During this free annual event, pilots from across the Valley come together to show off their planes and share their love of flight with the community. The wet weather will force postponement of this event until Saturday, June 18, when flight enthusiasts of all ages can see some of Sonoma's most unique aircraft at the Skypark, 21870 Eighth St. E.
For the first time in its 44 years of existence, the annual Ox Roast, sponsored by the Sonoma Community Center, has been canceled due to weather. The event was scheduled for Sunday, with a huge barbecue and community party on the Plaza. While Sims said the rain could taper off by Sunday, the chance of showers remains.
"The weather was just too dicey," said Kathy Swett, executive director of the community center. "We're very, very disappointed. We've had such great support from many volunteers and people working to make this event happen. I just hope everyone who has worked on this realizes how much we appreciate their work."
Swett said the center is reviewing the possibility of rescheduling the event, and is checking with the city for available Sundays on the Plaza. It could be difficult financially to reschedule, considering the amount of money the center lost after buying meat and other supplies for the Sunday event.
"Not to mention the revenue we're losing that we had budgeted for," Swett said. "We're just taking a big hit."
The rain should wrap up by Monday at the latest, hopefully giving way to sunnier skies ahead, at least for the sake of next weekend's event organizers.
"It'll finally end by Monday and hopefully we'll dry out after that," Sims said.