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Raleigh fete is 'Wide Open' after Hanna takes a hike

Posted September 6, 2008
Updated September 7, 2008

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— Organizers of the festival called Raleigh Wide Open said Saturday that they were expecting up to 100,000 people to visit.

Given how the day began, that shows they are solid optimists.

The rain rolled in, and Raleigh Wide Open shimmered – or rather, shuddered – to a stop Saturday morning. There was supposed to be music, food, crowds, but there was Tropical Storm Hannah instead.

Organizers canceled or rescheduled three music groups and hoped the afternoon would not mirror the morning. They hoped to move forward – and eventually nature went along with them.

In the early afternoon, people began to stroll Fayetteville Street – though sometimes the street resembled snow as broken bubbles flowed from the bubble machine. To be bubbly when it's blustery is like spinning your wheels.

“The weather didn't keep us away. It doesn't usually keep us away from any event, and I'm glad it's still going on,” visitor David Bronson said.

Afternoon events went on as scheduled, with high expectations for crowds instead of puddles. Saturday night's celebration included a parade.

Also set for the evening were live music, several events in the new convention center and a huge fireworks display around 10 p.m.

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