LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) Thunder and lightning, things not usually associated with the annual Taste of Tippecanoe, created more confusion than normal at this year’s festival.
Many festival goers were enjoying themselves at this year’s event, until mother nature had some other plans. While people ate local food and had local drinks, 20 miles outside of town a storm was brewing.
“When the weather got 20 miles out, we went ahead and went to a code red. Because it wasn’t raining yet or anything here, we wanted to give the stages enough time to get their expensive equipment off of the stages and to make sure that everyone is prepared,” said Lafayette Police Capt. Kurt Wolf.
Although the severe weather that was being anticipated never came, the Tippecanoe Emergency Management Agency wanted to be proactive when it came to the safety of the festival goers.
Many vendors said they were still upset with the way that was handled.
“Just a little disappointed,” says Andrew Nieken with Scotty’s Brewhouse. “We were all ready and set up to serve a ton of people here, but you know whose fault is it? It’s just the weather.”
“Right now, there’s no rain, there’s no nothing,” said Jerry Graves, McGraw’s Steakhouse vendor. “I could see when lightning would hit or something. You know, say quit when lightning hits. But you know, shoot, people are wanting to buy food. They’re wanting to eat. They’re walking around with nothing to eat because the vendors had to close.”
Due to some confusion, many people thought that the Taste was cancelled, which wasn’t the case.
In fact, the plans to reopen to the taste were underway to ensure the rest of the festivities would be able to go on. The safety of the festival goers is of utmost importance to the emergency staff on scene.
“If the lightning stops, they tell me they can run this in the rain. But the lightning has to stop in order for us to go back out of the red, so if that does happen, then yea we will reopen,” said Wolf.
The severe thunderstorm watch was eventually lifted, and the Taste was able to continue as planned.