OTTAWA: Out of an abundance of caution late yesterday afternoon, Canadian Tulip Festival management advanced the start time for their traditional Victoria Day fireworks display by 45 minutes from 10 PM to 9:15 PM.
Festival Manager, Jo Riding, who led the decision, stated that late Sunday afternoon, a passing storm cell created lightning strikes in the area and, at that time, a similar cell was forecast to arrive at 10PM.

Recognizing the hazard of mixing large crowds and the possibility of a similar storm, the Festival committed to the earlier fireworks start time and used the remaining 4 hours to inform the public.

We posted the announcement on our website's homepage, issued a media release, asked our radio sponsor to concentrate attention on the announcement and sent e-mail notifications to the 250 people who had purchased tickets for our seating area on-line, stated Ms Riding. And even though the cell arrived later than forecast, we were not prepared to play an evening guessing game with our festival attendees' safety.

We regret the inconvenience created for those who did not get the word, but feel the right decision was made. And we were delighted that while Mother Nature created concern and inconvenience last night, she allowed the show to go on. It was one highlight among many for a very successful 67th edition of the 11 day Canadian Tulip Festival.

The weather for the Festival's final Monday is for sunny periods with a chance of minor showers.

(Posted on 08 June 2019, 1680167934 34O239O173O144)