The center of the storm N. Pleasant Street 7:00 PM
Block Party central to norther end of closed off roadway
Up until that time (6:55 PM) the crowd was starting to grow, as everyone seemed to enjoy walking amiably down the very center of what is normally a busy roadway through the heart of downtown Amherst.
Block Party northern end near Kendrick Park
Still, the crowd seemed a little smaller than last year's gathering. Perhaps the National Weather Bureau "Severe Thunderstorm Watch" earlier in the day covering the entire four hours of the party (6-10 PM) had something to do with it.
Although last year the maiden event had to contend with a mosquito borne illness alert over Eastern Equine Encephalitis where town officials -- including the Board of Health -- issued stern warnings against outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
Lady on stilts enthralls the kids ... well, except for the superhero on left
By 9:00 PM with the rains coming and going the crowds had thinned
Food concession stands not doing a very brisk business
So maybe it's a classic sophomore slump, or maybe people fear thunderstorms more than mosquitoes.
Either way, the concept of bringing together a broad spectrum of citizens young and old into a safe, secure brightly lit downtown for a night of food, fun and entertainment is a sound one.
Besides, third time is the charm.
AFD Engine 1 and Ambulance 1 were stationed at DPW one mile from Central Station to avoid congestion in town center