ShareThis Page
Waynesburg keeping an eye on the skies |

Waynesburg keeping an eye on the skies

| Sunday, July 23, 2006 12:00 a.m

Waynesburg is hoping it will rain Saturday.

Residents aren’t worried about drought conditions and crops — it’s Rain Day in the borough.

The celebration started after a Waynesburg pharmacist noted 132 years ago that on July 29 it always seemed to rain.

It has rained in the borough 98 out of 131 times on the date, and the propensity for precipitation is a genuine phenomenon.

Waynesburg went through a bit of a dry spell recently with no rain recorded on July 29 in 2003 and 2004.

Part of the tradition of Rain Day is to bet a hat with a local luminary or a national celebrity, such as the late Johnny Carson and Jack Benny, on whether it would rain.

Two years ago, Waynesburg had to ‘fess up and send a hat to comedian Will Ferrell.

Last year, Donald Trump lost the wager and his hat by a few drops.

“It was just an isolated sprinkle,” said Melody Longstreth, the executive director of the Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce, but that was plenty for her.

Longstreth said she definitely “doesn’t want to see a downpour,” particularly on a Saturday when all the Rain Day activities promise to draw a crowd of both residents and visitors downtown.

There are “two different schools of thought” on what’s the best rain for Rain Day, Longstreth said.

She said the town is split between those who favor a sprinkle early in the morning and those who enjoy a light rain at about 2:30 p.m. when the festival is at its height.

“It’s cool to hear the cheer,” she said.

The hat bet this year is with Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

Although she helps with the activities, Longstreth isn’t the chief rainmaker. An official borough commission is in charge.

Other activities, in addition to waiting for the rain to fall, are concerts by bands on two stages and Rain Day competitions, including two perennial favorites, the umbrella decorating and Baby Rain Day contests.

A Miss Rain Day pageant is scheduled for this evening.

New to the festivities this year is the “husband hollering contest.”

Longstreth said wives can approach the contest with anything from a soft call to a shrill shout, as long as it isn’t obscene.

A somber moment of silence will be observed at 6 p.m. for National Guard Company K, a former Waynesburg unit, which was decimated in a July 29 battle during World War I.

Members of the current National Guard Company C, from the Waynesburg Armory — many of whom who have recently returned from service in Iraq — also will be recognized.

Rain Day events

The schedule includes:

11:30 a.m.: Umbrella Decorating Contest

Noon: Battle of the Bands: Justin Walters Band

12:30 p.m.: Battle of the Bands: Wicked Spliff

1 p.m.: Ginny McClelland Dancers

2 p.m.: Barbara’s Dancing School

2:30 p.m.: Battle of the Bands: Victory Lane

3 p.m.: Levi Mt. Joy Irish Step Dancers

3:30 p.m.: Battle of the Bands: Manaia

4 to 6 p.m.: Country Showdown

6 p.m.: Baby Rain Day winners; Company C and Company K salute; race winners

7 p.m.: Husband Calling Contest

7:30 p.m.: Bad Medicine, a Bon Jovi tribute band

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.