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Shrimp Festival braves the rain

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Updated: 5/04/2013 12:34 am

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Rainy weather cast a gloom of doubt on festivities at the 50th annual Isle of Eight Flags festival on Friday.

Parade Director Desiree Dinkle says local police, fire and disaster teams kept an eye on the sky for most of the day.

"It made set-up difficult, but then everybody looked at the radar and the maps, and those that are really good at it said, 'I think we're going to be fine!'"

That was good news for more than 25 food vendors like Kevin Weeks.

"We got everything covered up pretty good."

He was worried no one would show up for the festival that was expected to attract 150,000 people over three days.

"The rain ain't going to make it better. Nobody wants to come sit out in the rain."

But a few, like local Elizabeth Tupper, braved it early on, and were pleasantly surprised when organizers said the popular pirate invasion and fireworks show would continue as planned.

"Last year this place would have been packed by now, but I'm not afraid of getting wet. My mother always told me I wasn't made of sugar!"

As the night went on, the crowd grew, just as Dinkle had hoped.

"I think Mother Nature loves us!"

Action News is told all planned events will continue at scheduled. For a full list, go to

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