Sometimes, not even bad weather can ruin a party.
That was the case for Liberty Rocks.
The event, held July 3 on Liberty Street, was hampered by rain but was still a success, according to Dan Ristau and Pam McGarry of Warren Main Street, the sponsor of the second-year event.
"I always judge success by how well an event is received and if the event was financially sound," Ristau said. "I heard nothing but positive comments and as I traveled through the crowds many times, up and down the street, everyone seemed to be having a great time."
"I do believe that Liberty Rocks was a success this year," Pam McGarry, event chairperson explained. "We had great musicians and filled the street with an audience that enjoyed barbeque and beer while listening to the music and catching up with friends."
Ristau explained that "All events have basic production costs and we were able to cover them, an important factor when considering and determining an event's return," he added. "Based on the positive feedback and financial viability, planning for next year is most certain."
The event featured music throughout the evening, food vendors as well as beer.
"I was especially pleased to hear the positive comments on the food vendors/caterers. The foods were simply great quality, great tasting and affordable by all," Ristau noted. "Something I was particularly pleased with - having something for everyone."
"We want to fill the street with interesting vendors that will provide additional shopping opportunities while people enjoy the music and browse the shops in downtown Warren," McGarry added. "Our food vendors were outstanding and appeared to really satisfy the crowd."
Ristau noted that people were there from the start but "things really got kicking" around 7 p.m. "By 8 p.m., the street was very full and a long line for beverages. I would estimate that there were 200-plus people on the street at the peak."
While the event was a success, the weather hampered the evening.
"When the first rain hit, it did not seem to deter anyone," Ristau said. "It wasn't 'til the thunder and lightning and heavier rain came around 9 p.m. that people began dispersing.
"But even then there were little groups up and down the street, enjoying the holiday evening, catching up with friends, and generally having a good time."
McGarry explained that additional planning will go into next year's event for ways to deal with the weather.
"We will work to have a plan for rain and thunderstorms going forward. The weather report was awesome up until the day of the event," she said. "We want to have more canopies to protect the audience and the musicians from rain and the sun and we would also like to have the option of another location if thunderstorms are in the forecast."
Looking to next year, Ristau is optimistic. "The event will grow, certainly more vendors, and again as we receive input and ideas," he said. "Next year we look to refine the music by once again having a 'happy hour' opening and perhaps just feature two bands for the evening, but we will make those choices as we have more input and others join the conversation."
McGarry noted that "for next year, we would love to have more music enthusiasts join in the planning and staging of Liberty Rocks... We are open to suggestions and are excited about the number of people we drew to Liberty Street on the 3rd of July to start the Independence Day celebration this year."
She thanked all the people that helped in the event, including employees from Northwest Savings Bank "...by helping plan and manage all our beverage sales" as well as the following sponsors: Crescent Beer, Hoover Oil, NWSB, Ring Around The Rosie, EJ the DJ, Integrity Martial Arts and The Point.
"We are thankful for our sponsors who supported out vision for this great new 4th of July holiday event," McGarry noted. "We look forward to Liberty Rocks III."