Look to the skies today

July 28, 2013

Today is Rain Day in Waynesburg, so, in theory, the chances are pretty good it is going to rain. But the forecasts from two reputable weather services indicate the chance of precipitation is unlikely.

The Weather Channel, headquartered in Atlanta, is calling for partly cloudy skies with a high of 73 degrees. The chance of rain? Only 10 percent. AccuWeather in State College says it will be 76 degrees, mostly sunny and pleasant.

But strange things have been known to happen on High Street, even when the sun is brightly shining. All it takes is one rain cloud to let go with a drop or two.

We are not suggesting there is any skullduggery in play here. However, the fact cannot be overlooked that Rain Day has indeed lived up to its name 113 of the past 137 years. Last year it didn’t rain, but, if we recall correctly, weather models predicted there was a chance that it would rain. That didn’t sit too well with Waynesburg Mayor Blair Zimmerman, who lost his hat to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, since the borough’s mayor traditionally puts the Rain Day legacy to the test by making a hat bet with an out-of-town celebrity.

Rain is usually just icing on the cake, though, for a Rain Day celebration that is the culmination of months of planning and work by Waynesburg’s special events committee.

Yes, the daylong event has been described by some as “just another street fair,” with food and craft booths lining High Street. But what’s wrong with having a street fair? It does a community good.

A rural county such as Greene is often saddled with unfair and sometimes hurtful labels. Rain Day is a joke to the uninformed and the ignorant, for what community would plan a day around bad weather? But how many community leaders anywhere can say they have received hats in the mail from famous people who have bet against rain?

Rain Day is a time when people forget about geography. It is a celebration not just for borough residents but for the entire county and for those who live beyond. Former Rain Day queens make it a point to return to Waynesburg when July 29 rolls around. A teacher in Central Greene School District has written a children’s book on Rain Day. And, as the case has been for the last 138 years, people still look to the sky July 29.

So something is working.



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