Rain doesn't deter denizens


A brief rain shower didn't deter several hundred people today from gathering at downtown Toledo's Promenade Park hours before the annual fireworks show.

People milled about, eating hotdogs and hamburgers, tossing back a beer, and buying glow sticks. Parents chased their young children through wet grass, and others kicked back not wanting to risk losing that perfect spot.

Nikki Rodriguez was so bent on getting her family's spot that she showed up at 10 a.m., not realizing that the festivities didn't start until 6 p.m.

“It's tradition,” said Miss Rodriguez, 19, of Toledo. “We come every year.”

This year, with her family recently moved to Georgia, Miss Rodriguez was with a group of her friends, walking around to take in the sights and sounds now that other people were finally starting to show up.

The group of teens, all former classmates at the Toledo School for the Arts, were decked out in red, white, and blue.

Everyone but Natalie Gray, 17, of Toledo, who was wearing a pineapple sundress.

But, she reasoned, what's not American about fruit?

Kenya Polin, 18, of Toledo, said she was looking forward to the fireworks, which are scheduled to start at about 10 p.m.

“I like the buzz when all these people are here before the fireworks,” she said.