Lewiston, Auburn move Friday's Liberty Festival to Sunday

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Marcus Talarico of Lewiston straightens American flags that were put along both sides of the Longley Bridge between Lewiston and Auburn on Thursday. Talarico is a board member for the Liberty Festival. 

LEWISTON — The 18th annual Liberty Festival, including a fireworks display above Lewiston and Auburn, has been postponed until Sunday night.

Fireworks postponements

  • Auburn-Lewiston: Postponed to Sunday
  • Augusta: Postponed to Aug. 2
  • Camden: Canceled, not rescheduled
  • Carrabassett Valley: Canceled, not rescheduled
  • Jackman: Postponed to Saturday
  • Portland: Postponed to Saturday
  • Searsport: Postponed to Saturday
  • Turner: Postponed to Saturday

We built a map that shows which towns have public fireworks displays scheduled in July at SunJournal.com/2014/fireworks. Rain dates are included.

Festival organizers announced the postponement Thursday afternoon as the holiday forecast turned gloomy, calling for rain on Friday and wind on Saturday.

All festival events — including entertainment, food vending and arrangements for parking — have been moved to Sunday.

"Nothing else has changed," said Cathy McDonald, the festival's president. "Only the day is different.”

Live performances are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at Auburn's Great Falls Plaza with Skosh and at 5:30 p.m. with the Veayo Twins at Lewiston's Veterans Park.

In all, 13 musical acts are scheduled to perform at the two venues. They will be joined by 12 food vendors.

Performances will pause for about 30 minutes for the fireworks display, which will take place at about 9:30 p.m.

Friday’s weather will start off with rain and could let up on Friday afternoon, but it's far from certain, said meteorologist Michael Cempa of the National Weather Service in Gray.

And though rain is unlikely for Saturday, the area may be gusty as a front continues to move away, he said.

McDonald said worries of windy weather were enough to push the festival back from Saturday, the original rain date. State fire regulations ban the use of fireworks in winds gusting past 30 mph.

Predictions call for gusts of more than 40 mph, she said.

McDonald's hope is for perfect weather and big crowds on Sunday, she said.

One small benefit was the extension of the festival's “Light the Works” contest, which will give a random person the chance to shoot a flare that will kick off the fireworks display.

With the postponement, the festival will continue to accept entries on its website, libertyfestival.org, until Sunday morning, McDonald said.

For other details, including a schedule of events, see the festival's website and Facebook page. Parking on Sunday will be offered at municipal lots in both cities with a $5 donation to the festival.

dhartill@sunjournal.com

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