Storms hit Faith Fourth
By Joanie Morris
For the Salisbury Post
FAITH — The clouds opened up as a night of fun was getting under way Tuesday for the Faith Fourth celebration.
People caught outdoors sought cover across the region as a series of storms passed through, leaving scattered power outages and downed trees.
In Faith, people clustered under tents, awnings and vendors booths as the heaviest rains hit.
In Salisbury, two people were reported injured when a tent collapsed as the storm began to hit about 6 p.m. Authorities had no other details available Tuesday night.
Duke Energy reported thousands of power outages in the region, but service was being restored as the night progressed. Late Monday, nearly 1,500 outages were still listed in Rowan County.
The stormy weather dampened the crowd in Faith, but it didn’t dampen the fun, though the band scheduled to perform had to cancel.
The threatening weather didn’t stop teens and families from crawling through the booths, games and rides, getting on what rides they could while the lines were blessedly short.
William Grimes, “almost 70,” of California has been traveling with different carnival shows for 20 years, but this was his first time ever at the Faith Fourth celebrations.
“I travel with the carnival 11 months out of the year,” said Grimes from his overturned bucket outside of the fun house. Between collecting tickets for people to walk through the house, he pointed out how the fun house is put together — and taken apart — and bragged about his experience in carnivals.
“My grandparents used to be in show business themselves,” the man with the snowy white beard and hair said. “I have to say, the owners here are some of the nicest people I ever met.”
Kayla Hardy, 7, of Salisbury, celebrated her first trip to the festival by handing over her three tickets to Grimes for a walk through the fun house.
“She just wanted to come ride some rides,” said her dad Jason, who said his daughter was excited to get out into the carnival Tuesday. The little girl made her way through the fun house and back down the slide to where her parents were waiting.
Another girl celebrating her first year at the festivities was Victoria Chandler, 9, of Concord. Victoria was at the carnival with her parents to listen to the music. She wasn’t shy in sharing her displeasure at not getting to hear the band play.
“I think it’s going to be a ton of disaster,” said Victoria, adding that if the weather were nicer, it would be better. She dressed for nice weather and a good time listening to the band with white patent leather shoes and white socks soaked by the muddy rivers of rain running through the music tent. “We came for the band but it was a disaster.”
Victoria said she and her family will be back this weekend, to catch another band and ride some rides.
For Summer Waller, 5, it was the first time she had ever gotten to ride the big bumpy slide all by herself. She’s been to the festival before, but has always had to ride with a parent because she was so small.
Larry Hoffner, of Lexington and formerly of Salisbury, brought his business, Hoffs’ Grill on Wheels, to the Faith Fourth celebration for the first time this year.
He’s always wanted to come, but something has always come up, he said. He’s set up at the Rowan County fair and said so far, the Faith Fourth celebrations lived up to his expectations. Hoffs’ Grill sells pork chop sandwiches and fixings.
For little Jackson Propst, 2, it wasn’t his first year at the carnival, but it was his first year of being able to ride any of the rides. His mom had taken him to the doctor last week for his two year checkup and made sure he was 36 inches for the rides.
They came out on Tuesday to avoid the lines. Tuesday is traditionally one of the less busy days of the festivities.
“We can watch the fireworks from our house,” said Amanda, who added the family likely won’t get out to the festival again, but will be at the parade.
One of the most interesting firsts of the night came during the storm, when people took shelter where they could. Under the tent where the stage for music was, one guest stood out.
Smokie, a 10-year-old Congo African Grey, sat perched on his owner’s shoulder, offering sound effects as Russ Kraus tried to keep the rain off the sweet bird.
“He loves concerts,” said Doug, adding that Smokie has been to a variety of concerts, including the Beach Boys and Foreigner. “He loved the Doobie Brothers.”
Doug and Smokie were at the festival from Albemarle to watch Jim Quick and Coastline perform. The concert was canceled due to the weather. Smokie entertained the small crowd with tricks ranging from waving and shaking hands.
The Faith Fourth of July festivities will continue tonight beginning at 6 p.m. when carnival rides open. At 7:30 p.m., Mark Roberts and the Breeze Band will play. Faith Idol opens tonight, with the first contestants set to sing beginning at 8:30 p.m.
The rest of the week:
• Thursday: 6 p.m. — Food booths and rides open; 7:30 p.m. — Sea Cruz; 8:30 p.m. — Faith Idol.
• Friday: 6 p.m. — Food booths and rides open; 7:30 p.m. — Atlantic Groove Band; 8:30 p.m. — Faith Idol.
• Saturday: 6 p.m. — Food booths and rides open; 7:30 p.m. — Billy Joel & Elton John Tribute Band.
• Sunday: 4 p.m. — Food booths open; 4:30 p.m. Shrine Band at Faith Baptist Church; 5 p.m. — Faith Patriotic Program at Faith Baptist Church; 6 p.m — Rides open; 7 p.m. — Gospel Music by One Road Home; 8 p.m. — The Chapeleers
• Monday: 10 a.m. — Parade followed by flag raising. National Anthem and crowning of Miss Rowan County Veteran; 12-5 p.m. — Rides open with $20 armbands; 7 p.m. — Faith Idol Finals; 7 p.m. — Races, games, watermelon eating contest at Faith School ballpark; 8 p.m. — The Catalinas; 10:30 p.m. — Fireworks.
Joanie Morris is a freelance writer for the Salisbury Post. She can be reached at 704-797-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.