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Rain Delays Orange Volunteer Fire Company Fair - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Rain Delays Orange Volunteer Fire Company Fair

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Heavy rain soaked an annual firemen's fundraiser in Orange County.

The fireman's parade went on as planned Thursday night, but Friday's pouring rain shut down the Orange Volunteer Fire Company Fair.

Orange Volunteer Fire Company President Tim Melson says there is too much groundwater to have the fair.

"It's very wet down there so it's probably best for everybody to stay away and come back tomorrow and hope for a strong Saturday," Melson said.

As Melson walked the grounds Friday, there were no swirling, twirling rides. The Hurricane, the Zipper and the Wiggly Worm stood still.

Joey Robinson, who supervises the Cole Amusement Co. rides, said it was like a ghost town. "I like to see other people have fun. It is just a down day," he said.

The volunteer fire company relies on this fair and donations every year for almost 25 percent of its budget, so bad weather can hit the volunteers hard.

"It is a significant fundraiser for this department. We rely on donations from the community," Melson said.

Melson says the firemen are losing about $10,000 a day. But he remains optimistic the forecast for clearing skies will allow the fair to resume Saturday, even though water is everywhere

The soft ground and standing water require the rides to be rebalanced but doesn't hurt anything else. "So you have to go back and make sure everything is blocked up properly," Robinson said.

Melson says he has a plan to shore things up.

"We continue to monitor the forecast. Grounds are little wet right now so we're looking to bring in some gravel," Melson said. By using gravel to coat some of the soft ground, fair organizers expect to open Saturday, and hope for a strong weekend to help support the fire company.

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