Fiesta concluded another successful year, but it did come with a few hiccups.
For the first time ever, the Fiesta Flambeau parade was cut short due to stormy weather.
"I had about 10 or 12 minutes to work with, as far as what to do,” said parade organizer Nick Carrisal.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 9:48 p.m. on Saturday. According to Carrisal, 10 floats were waiting to get on the parade route when word came down of impending weather from SAPD.
"The lightning was what concerned me the most. It was just horrendous lightning. So, I decided that we needed to terminate the parade,” said Carrisal.
Before that happened, however, the 10 remaining floats were allowed to join the parade; a process that took around 10 minutes.
"The plan was for them to go on through the parade route and disband as planned,” said Carrisal.
That meant those on the floats and remaining onlookers were at the mercy of Mother Nature, as heavy rain fell and lightning filled the sky.
"You have to make decisions on the spot,” explained Larry Peabody, a certified consulting meteorologist who provides up-to-the-minute forecasts for outdoor events. "I think they made a wise decision probably in cancelling the parade, especially when lightning is involved."
For events he forecasts, Peabody said he ideally likes to get attendees indoors an hour before lightning arrives. In this case, it may have been a difficult call with little indoor protection for the thousands on the parade route.
Meanwhile, Carrisal said he had no regrets with the timeline, when it came to cancelling, but said it would serve as a learning experience.
"We may have to look at and see if appropriate responses were taken."