July Fourth event at Eastern Florida State College canceled due to weather

Lightning hit stage area in Palm Bay, canceling Independence Day Celebration

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PALM BAY, Fla. - The city of Palm Bay said the Independence Day Celebration at Eastern Florida State College was canceled Friday due to weather conditions.

At 4 p.m. Friday emergency officials told event guests to seek shelter due to lighting in the area. Two lighting strikes hit the stage area, possibly damaging a light pole, and also hit close to the emergency command vehicle, officials said.

Police, fire-rescue personnel, and parks and recreation staff helped in getting all guests to safe areas and were able to quickly get most people evacuated.

Due to the continued threat of additional storms, and standing water on the fairgrounds and on roadways surrounding the property, the decision was made to cancel the event, including the fireworks show, city officials said.

"It's disappointing, but our priority is everyone's safety," said Heidi Lapin, director of Parks and Recreation. "The conditions just are not favorable for us to continue with the event. We are fortunate no one was injured during the storm, and all of our staff and emergency personnel did a great job in making sure everyone was safe."

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