The gates for the McLean Community Center’s annual Fourth of July celebration opened at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening, but unfortunately, the sky opened a torrential downpour at exactly the same time.
“We always worry that we are going to get rained out,” said Sabrina Anwah, community liaison for the McLean Community Center. “But every year we come out here and set it up.”
The annual community event went on in spite of its soggy start. The Fourth of July celebration, which is co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 270 McLean and is held on the grounds of Langley High School, featured its usual assortment of concession stands, amusements and musical entertainment. Local residents trickled in steadily beginning around 8 p.m., and children waited in line patiently for the hamster ball, moonbounce and other rides, despite the occasional rain shower.
Haycock Elementary School students Hans Crone and John Spulak, both 11, said they come to the McLean Community Center Fourth of July celebration every year. Neither boy was discouraged by the weather.
“We’re having fun,” said Hans.
Both were also waiting in great anticipation for the highlight of the evening — the fireworks display. When asked what type of firework they liked best, both boys replied in unison, “the big ones.”
Hannah Alexander, 7, a student at Colvin Run Elementary School, was also not disturbed by the wet conditions as she systematically made her away through the various activities on the Langley football field.
“I like the hamster ball the best,” she said.
Live entertainment was provided by the Beach Boy Tribute Band “Still Surfin’” and children gathered in front of the stage to dance to popular hits such as “I Get Around” and “Good Vibrations,” in spite of the occasional rain shower. And in keeping with tradition, Catholic University sophomore Amanda Roberts sang the National Anthem.
Local political candidates were also on hand. Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates 34th District seat Dave Hunt greeted residents as they arrived, as did his opponent Democrat Margaret “Margi” Vanderhye. Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois was in attendance with Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Gerald Connolly. DuBois’ challenger in the upcoming November elections, Democrat John Foust, was also at last week’s event greeting local residents as they filtered into the Langley stadium.
The fireworks display was a success, although some of the fireworks did not detonate correctly.
“They had some things that did not go according to plan but no one was hurt,” said Lt. Dan Schmidt, a public information officer with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. “With fireworks you have to be very careful, and the big issue is making sure that people take the proper safety precautions – but nothing is foolproof.”