Rain Puts A Bit Of A Damper On Fourth Of July Fun - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/04/03

Rain Puts A Bit Of A Damper On Fourth Of July Fun

Sandbags and puddles greeted guests who spent the Fourth of July at Marine Life. Dave Webster didn't mind the holiday shower, because the Wisconsin man wasn't used to South Mississippi's humidity.

"It's a lot warmer down here," he said, just before a dolphin swam by. "The rain is just kind of comforting actually."

Marine Life's overhead cover gave it a holiday advantage over other area attractions. It was one of the reasons the oceanarium expected 6,000 guests to watch dolphin shows this weekend. Moby Solangi is Marine Life's director.

"Actually people started coming on Thursday," he said. "It's a longer weekend. And people come at the same time. And so we're very happy that the Fourth of July is on a Friday."

The rain sent a lot of tourists into Jennifer Drawdy's souvenir shop. They all looked for that perfect take home momento.

"Business has been steady all day long," she said.

Drawdy felt the Fourth of July crowd would keep her cashiers busier than normal.

"The summer so far has been somewhat flat," she said. "But we are certainly grateful for the business that we've had this year."

Back outside, the rain kept falling. The wind kept blowing. Yet people kept splashing down a Biloxi water slide. A cashier described the scene with one word -- amazing.

Erin McKeown runs Slippery Sams. She said the rain "really hasn't done anything, because, as you can see, there are still a lot of sliders here. It hasn't affected anyone really."

The people on the slides had no complaints about some Fourth of July rain. One man splashed into the pool, walked onto the deck, and just stood there, so he could soak in the holiday shower.

"We're getting wet anyway. It doesn't matter," he said.

But if it keeps raining over the long holiday weekend, it will matter, to the people in charge of coast tourism's bottom line.

by Brad Kessie

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