By ERIC BERNSEE
Before closing the book on another bang-up Fourth of July celebration, the Greencastle Park Board had a fistful of kudos to pass out.
Despite a rainy start to the day, the holiday ended in style with a fireworks display people are still talking about several days later.
"We easily topped 7,000 people in the park Monday night," Greencastle Park Director Rod Weinschenk told the board during its July monthly meeting Wednesday night at City Hall. "And pretty much every one behaved themselves."
By most accounts the 20-minute fireworks show produced some of the more noteworthy displays of aerial pyrotechnics in recent memory, board members noted.
"The red, white and blue finale was just fantastic," Weinschenk praised, noting that the unique fireworks producing yellow smiley faces and shimmering lightning bugs also thrilled the Robe-Ann Park crowd.
"We heard a lot of comments from people about what great fireworks we have for a town our size," board member Tim Trigg added.
Financially, the evening was also good for the Parks Department and the Celebrate 4 Committee that helps it put on the events that culminate in the annual fireworks.
Weinschenk said sales of glow necklaces combined with the blanket pass to yield $1,400. The park concession stand was also open during the day, selling $1,200 worth of pop, candy and hotdogs.
The day started off well, despite a couple of early downpours. Some 90 runners or walkers took part in the annual Rokicki 5K Run, while hungry pancake eaters crammed Shelterhouse No. 1 to enjoy a breakfast fundraiser "for parks and pathways," despite the morning rain.
The softball tourney started a little late on Monday but after "about $200 worth of diamond dry" was used to soak up standing water, play continued uninterrupted to an exciting conclusion, Weinschenk said.
The final game was tied 7-7 in the seventh inning, he reported, when the Wood Group Swingers team scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly. The winners even donated the team prize money back to the fireworks fund, Weinschenk added.
"Overall it was a really great event," he said of the 2011 celebration.
"We really want to thank the volunteers who helped out," the park director added. "Some of those volunteers were there are early as 7 a.m."
And some were there the following morning as well.
"The boys from Res-Care came out on Tuesday morning and cleaned up the park," Weinschenk said, noting that the group helped restore order to Robe-Ann by removing "everything that didn't belong there" during their three-hour clean-up effort.