Fourth on the first Summerville celebrates early with Red, White and Blue on Green

Five-year-old Carmyn Plummer (left) and her 4-year-old sister Jade play Jumping for Apples at Summerville’s Red, White and Blue on the Green on Sunday.

SUMMERVILLE — A happy crowd enjoyed an afternoon of games, live music and other activities Sunday at the annual Red, White and Blue on the Green celebration, even though thunderstorms stopped the patriotic parade.

The festival saw a huge turnout of families and locals showing up for an early celebration of the Fourth of July.

“It’s really an event meant to bring the community together and bring out community spirit,” said Susan Morris, executive director of the Summerville D.R.E.A.M, the event host.

This year marks the 18th consecutive festival, and it’s grown, Morris said.

“It has morphed its way from a small event into a pretty large one,” she said. “We were so big last year, so we closed down a lot more streets (this year). We have a lot more going on.”

Attendees carried paper fans to fight the heat. Children participated in numerous activities from dunk tanks to bouncy castles .

Local businesses and associations contributed to the event by providing games and activities stationed under tents.

“We (had) the Friends of Summerville Library having kids make bookmarks and numerous games, from Quarterback Toss to Shark Attack,” Morris said.

Everyone’s good time eventually was cut short as strong winds started picking up. Lightning could be seen in the distance.

People rushed to take down their tents and hurried back to their vehicles.

“It went very smooth,” said Lt. James Bateman of the Summerville Police Department. “I think everyone saw the wind and the storm coming, so they went and got into their cars and went home.”

The parade, with non-motorized vehicles decorated to show patriotism, had been moved

People rushed to take down their tents and hurried back to their vehicles.

“It went very smooth,” said Lt. James Bateman of the Summerville Police Department. “I think everyone saw the wind and the storm coming, so they went and got into their cars and went home.”

The parade, with decorated non-motorized vehicles, had been moved up a half-hour to 7 p.m. because of weather concerns. But it didn’t matter.

“The storm started quickly, so we made the call to cancel the parade and send everybody home,” said Lt. Bateman. “Their safety is our primary concern.”

The parade is traditionally the highlight of the festival, with prizes handed out for Most Decorative, Most Original and Most Patriotic.

Though the storm ended the event early, it does not mark the end of the celebration for Summerville. A fireworks display will be held at the Gahagan Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Reach Tyler Simpson at 937-5925.