Monday, September 04, 2000

Summer ends with a bang

Riverfest Crowd overcomes heat and humidity

By Marie McCain and Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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(Steven M. Herppich photo)
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(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        The monstrous heat and humidity did little to deter about 500,000 people who turned out Sunday for Riverfest 2000, the jewel of Cincinnati summer gatherings.

        A day of music, brats, Bavarian Roasted Almonds and a Reds victory over the Expos culminated in a spectacular, 31-minute fireworks show over the Ohio River.

        “It (the fireworks) goes with the music a lot better this year,” said Ron Holland, 51, of Fort Wright, about five minutes into the display. “It's breathtaking — but, of course, I love fireworks.”

        Temperatures on both sides of the Ohio hit 88 degrees about 5 p.m. Sunday, but it felt more like 100, factoring in humidity, according to AccuWeather.

        Emergency services officials reported few heat-related problems.

        Sitting along the Cincinnati side of the river Sunday afternoon, Brad Brown of Springboro said that if he had stayed home he'd have probably cooked out. Instead, the sun barbecued his bare stomach at Riverfest.

        The weather boosted vendor sales of water and food. It also made free paper fans — handed out by vendors — the most popular Riverfest souvenir.

        At the RC Cola booth benefiting McNicholas High School near the Serpentine Wall, supervisor Ann Bauer said they'd sold nearly 150 bottles of water in three hours.

        A boost for this year's Riverfest attendance was a 1:15 p.m. Reds/Expos game that drew a crowd of 26,152, team officials said. Cincinnati's 8-1 win Sunday ended a three-game home series.

        But the real pyrotechnics came from Rozzi's Famous Fireworks, which detonated 8,000 shells in a show that draws fireworks fans nationwide.

Riverfest crowd struggles to beat heat

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