COLUMBIA — Hundreds packed up their lawn chairs Monday morning after discovering the downtown Salute to Veterans Memorial Day parade had been canceled because of stormy weather.
The cancellation was announced at 9:30 a.m. Festivities were scheduled to begin at 9:55 a.m. Severe weather was in the forecast Monday with hail and damaging winds possible, according to the National Weather Service.
"It's a bummer," said Andy Outhe, who had brought his two children to watch the parade. "We drove here from Fayette. It's overcast, but there is no lightning or thunder."
Officers from the Columbia Police Department worked to inform the public about the cancellation, while city workers removed detour signs and road barriers.
"I don't know why they canceled it," Columbia resident Duran Pipes said. "It was cloudy like this yesterday during the air show, and the planes still flew."
Three-year-old Robert Smith couldn't stop crying about the cancellation.
"I'm really upset," he said. "I really wanted to see the parade."
Jackson Bruenjes, a Columbia resident and Army soldier, had planned to carry a flag in the parade to honor Spc. Sterling Wyatt, a 21-year-old Columbia resident and Army soldier killed serving in Afghanistan last summer.
"The cancellation was disappointing, but Columbia's support of its veterans was very evident in the number of individuals and groups who showed up to participate," Bruenjes said.
"In that regard, this morning was very encouraging."
Supervising editor is Katie Moritz.