NORWALK, Conn. Joshua Todd's dad was "a little bit nervous" about going to Calf Pasture Beach on Sunday night. "But look at this," Drew Todd said, gesturing at the mostly clear skies at 8:30 p.m. "Look at that sunset."
Indeed, Norwalk's fireworks went off without a hitch even though it had rained most of the day. The Weather Channel's prediction that clouds would clear at about 9 p.m. proved to be inaccurate: By 7 p.m. the skies were clear, and they stayed that way. The show satisfied, if the ooohs and ahhs were any judge.
But the weather made a difference. Mike Mocciae, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said there was "one-half to three-quarters" of the usual crowd of 20,000 people.
He was relieved it had worked out, though. "I was shaking," he said of the decision to go ahead with the $42,000 show. "Weathermen who say a 30 [percent] to 40 percent chance of rain are clueless." If Sunday morning's forecast had called for a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of rain, the fireworks would have been postponed, he said.
The decision had to be made in the morning because the work to load the barge begins at 8 a.m. Then there's no turning back. "We were at a go at that point," he said.
If the show had been postponed, the city would have faced the additional expense of paying for hotel rooms for workers from Atlas Fireworks . Plus, it's difficult to get the word out through the media on Sunday, so "We had to deal with this yesterday," he said. "Really, we had to deal with it at 7:30 this morning."
Todd was pleased. "Norwalkers, we know how to do things right," he said. "I think (Mayor Richard) Moccia did something having to do with the weather. You tell him I said that."
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