For the sake of fair weather for the rest of October, I hope you’ll join me in prayer, rain dance, even in singing Sting’s Heavy Cloud No Rain — whatever your preference. It’s not for my sake I ask; I’m fine with wind, rain and fog. I’m asking for all the folks whose outdoors fun and festivities were rained on, rained out or blown away. Cancellation notices flooded October’s first weekend, dampening plans and spirits.
Who wants to go on a hayride on sodden bales and slippery trails? Take a roll in a cornbox disguised as a wading pool? Get all wet in a maze of dripping corn? Faced with such prospects, Ecoasis, Greenstreet Gardens, Homestead Gardens and Knightongale Farm shut down fall festivals that had been months in the works — but are only fun when the sun shines.
Ecoasis has moved its one-weekend-only Apple and Pumpkin Festival to October 17 and 18. Other festivals have more tries for good weather: Homestead’s Fall Festival continues through October 25; Greenstreet Gardens and Knightongale Farm keep going through November 1.
Annmarie Garden’s first Saturday Makers Market and the Annapolis First Sunday West Street Arts Festival, both cancelled last weekend, hope for better weather come November. As does Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, which folded its 30th Anniversary Celebration and Concert and plans only a “scaled-down” celebration November 7.
Hope springs eternal, but is it well founded?
October is potentially pretty close to the sweetest month in the Chesapeake calendar — except when it rains like the dickens. Three decades of experience with Chesapeake have taught me that one October weekend is sure to preview winter’s chill. Uncertainty is the best we can plan for as this 10th month falls right smack in the middle of the Annapolis rain graph: the sixth most (or least) rainiest, according to rainfall.weatherdb.com.
Why then does the biggest festival in Chesapeake Country, the U.S. Boat Shows, come to Annapolis every October?
“October is when new boats debut,” the Boat Shows founder Ed Hartman told Bay Weekly. “If you want to order a new boat for the spring, October is the time to do it.” Plus, summer heat would make the tents and the insides of the boats insufferable.
Fickle as October is, Hartman says in his 46-year memory it has given the Boat Shows “close calls, but no real weather problems.”
In other words, the shows went on despite all October had on offer, including:
• Several hurricane threats, though all have veered off as Joaquin did;
• Days with rain, and show-goers in foul-weather gear with umbrellas, but never a washout;
• A few days of water so high boots were in order;
• One day in the 1980s brought snow flurries.
Showers are predicted for the Sailboat Show Friday and Saturday.
If fall fun is on your calendar, and I sure hope it is, your best bet is to follow the age-old practice of farmers to make hay while the sun shines. Take your fun on the first fair day.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; firstname.lastname@example.org