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Rain dampens parade, but not spirits
Downpour scuttles plans for annual Memorial Day event; more rain expected all week
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Bill Harris, left, and James Brown chat during Monday afternoon’s Vietnam Veterans of America cookout near Roosevelt Square in downtown Gainesville.

Thanks to summer thunderstorms, Gainesville’s annual Memorial Day parade was a wash Monday.

The parade planned from Green Street to Spring Street was expected to be bigger and better than in years past.

Local World War II veterans would have been the grand marshals of the parade, World War II-era Jeeps, vintage cars and some 100 local groups were to participate.

But as the rain refused to subside, organizers canceled the parade Monday morning.

“We really hated it,” said Dave Dellinger, vice commander of the local American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7. “It’s the first time ever we had to cancel it, but with the kids there and the lightning, we had no choice.”

But an event on Roosevelt Square sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America went on as planned, though without as much fanfare, Dellinger said.

The organization served up hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers, but only a few of the 35 booths that were scheduled to be around the square Monday showed up.

“We had music, a deejay and all, but most of that fell through because most of the vendors didn’t think anything would come about, so they didn’t show up,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger, who is also vice president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 772, said the group will meet today and determine when to reschedule the event.

But outdoor events are going to be tentative this week, as rain is expected most afternoons, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s going to be very typical of a summertime pattern where you’re going to have more afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms than the early morning, because of the heating of the day,” said meteorologist Trisha Palmer.

Palmer said an upper level disturbance pushing through the region will likely develop into thunderstorms as temperatures rise to the high 80s this week.

There is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and a 40 percent chance for Wednesday. The rest of the week holds similar chances of rain and humid temperatures, Palmer said.

“We’re going to start to flirt with 90 degrees in a few locations, even up there, depending on the cloud cover,” said Palmer.

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