EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

July 5, 2014

Nantucket delays Fourth of July party a day

NANTUCKET (AP) — Kate Hamilton Pardee began organizing Nantucket’s July 4 celebrations last fall, but at the last minute Hurricane Arthur upended her carefully made plans.

As the hurricane moved up the Atlantic Coast, it was expected to skirt Cape Cod and Nantucket, where the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning. Officials in communities across Cape Cod pulled the plug on fireworks displays scheduled for last night.

“Mother Nature is her own woman,” said Pardee, director of Nantucket Visitor Services.

Arthur did far less damage than anticipated, but it still left thousands of people without power and dumped lousy Fourth of July beach weather in the Northeast.

As early as Tuesday, with forecasts for the end of the week looking ominous, Pardee said she and Nantucket’s emergency services and police and fire officials decided to put off Independence Day events such as pie-eating contests, face-painting and the singing of the national anthem marking its 200th anniversary.

Fortunately, the calendar worked in organizers’ favor: Plans that fell through on Friday could still go on Saturday, when forecasters say brilliant sunshine will follow the storm.

“Everything is on for today,” Pardee said.

Rescheduling the fireworks, however, must still be decided by Nantucket’s emergency services officials, she said.

For a tony tourist destination such as Nantucket, where high-end retail stores extend the season from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, the prospect of eliminating even one day of activities is difficult.

“It’s a lot of pressure making these kinds of decisions,” said Pardee, who’s been putting on fireworks displays for 22 years. “A lot of people make plans for the Fourth.”

Stephanie Correia, owner of Stephanie’s, a women’s boutique and home decor store, said year-round residents like her have faced worse, “especially after this winter, where it was storm after storm, blizzard after blizzard.”

“People who live here are accepting of crazy weather,” Correia said.

Arthur, she said, will be a 12-hour storm on the Cape and Islands and “everyone will be back in business enjoying their vacations.”

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