Low temperatures impact West Point festivities

Published 4:37 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

WEST POINT — Ryker Rasmus didn’t feel the cold Saturday afternoon as he raced from inflatable to inflatable at the West Point River Park during St. Paddy’s Day on the River.

The 3-year-old Rasmus just wanted to continue jumping around on the bouncy structure, then slide down backward, utterly unaware of the 40-degree temperatures that may have put a damper on festivities.

That was the case with many of the young people Saturday in West Point, while many of the adults in attendance felt the sharp edge of the cold wind throughout much of the afternoon into the night.

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The cold may have scared a few people away from the event hosted by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce but the ones who were in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves.

“The cold definitely hurt our attendance,” Chamber President Bill Gladden said. “But everything came off like it was supposed to, but I was real disappointed in the weather.”

He said he couldn’t blame the crowds for not showing up when it was cold. The chamber doesn’t have a total number of how many people showed up Saturday, but it was fewer than the previous year, Gladden said.

“At least it wasn’t raining,” he said Monday. “We are looking forward to doing it again next year.”

At the moment, Gladden said Saturday’s numbers wouldn’t have an impact on whether or not the event happens next year.

“The weather is the weather,” he said. “If you’re going to have an outdoor event, you have to live with what happens.”

Gladden said he felt great about the event leading up to it and despite the numbers, everything ran smoothly.

Carrie Royster, marketing and events manager for the chamber, said despite the cold, it was still a great event.

“It was a great event other than it was a chilly, cloudy day,” she said.

Royster said the bands that were booked still played as if the weather was sunny and 75 degrees.

Starting at 3 p.m., Corbin Hoats took the stage, followed by Blaine Rudd, Wilson Brothers Band and then Tim Dugger. There was also a mechanical bull and a cornhole area for adults to keep warm.

During the first part of the event, children had several events including Touch-A-Truck, life-sized laser tag, several inflatables and a Cybergame truck from Auburn.