Downpour drenches area Seaford Heritage Weekend interrupted Saturday by flash flood

By Lynn R. Parks

Saturday's Heritage Weekend was a great success  "until the monsoon struck," said Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce executive director Paula Gunson.

"It was a fantastic day," she added. "Everybody was enjoying themselves until around 2:30 or 3 o'clock, when it started pouring." With the unexpected and very localized rain came strong wind, Gunson said. Vendors were packed up and gone in 10 minutes.

And the evening's entertainment, four pageants at which Little Miss, Miss, Junior Teen and Teen Heritage Weekend were to be crowned, had to be canceled. Nearly 20 girls, aged 3 to 18, were registered to participate.

"The stage and the dance floor were completely soaked," Gunson said. "And all of the audio equipment was wet. It was for the girls' own protection that we canceled the pageants."

The fourth annual Heritage Weekend, sponsored by the chamber, was held at the Ross Plantation on the north edge of town.

Throughout the weekend, re-enactors in Civil War garb were camped on the grounds.

Members of Nanticoke River Arts had their works on display and authors with the Writers Bloc were there to sell and autograph their books.

Saturday opened with presentations, then music by Double Tap. "It was great music and it really got the crowd going," Gunson said. Around 1:30, the Civil War re-enactors had firing demonstrations featuring cannons and muskets. And unexpectedly, the skies grew dark and that was it for the day.

"I think that there was one clap of thunder and someone saw one bolt of lightning," Gunson said. "It wasn't really a thunderstorm, just a really heavy downpour. I walked out to check on something and there was water up to my ankles."

The rain may have spelled the end for that day's festivities. But plans are already being made for the 2012 event. "We have already started to think about next year," Gunson said. Heritage Weekend, despite the monsoon of 2011, will live on. See photos on pages 36 and 42.

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