CLINTON — Fourth of July events scheduled for the Clinton Fairgrounds were delayed Sunday due to rain, although the fireworks, scheduled for 9:15 p.m., were expected to happen.

The parade, initially set to go through downtown Clinton at 10 a.m., was canceled, but organizers at the fairgrounds were keeping an eye on the forecast. They decided events would begin at 2 p.m., and the fireworks would proceed as planned. Thirty-seven floats were signed up to take part.

“That is no question. Fireworks are still on,” Kevin Douglass, chairman of the Central Maine Fourth of July Committee, said Sunday afternoon.

The parade, live music and a horse show were canceled due to the weather.

Alexander Sanborn, three, left, braces against rainy weather Sunday as Slush Puppies are ordered in the background during the Central Maine 4th of July celebration at the Clinton Lions Fairgrounds in Clinton. Sandborn, who received a Slush Puppy, joined about a dozen friends and family members at the celebration. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Other events, including a chuck-a-phone contest and an apple pie eating contest went on as planned, although the times had to be adjusted.

The Fourth of July celebration is in its 31st year after being held in Winslow for most of that time. The festivities have taken place in Clinton in the past four years.

Linda and Pierre Ayotte of Anson, who were attending the planned car show in their 1963 Mercury Comet, arrived promptly at 11 a.m. They bought the car while honeymooning recently in Bartlett, New Hampshire. The couple were at the event Sunday to share the history and celebrate the legacy of their newly acquired antique car.

The two were married June 5 in Embden. They said that they had driven by the vehicle a few times before they decided to take a closer look. The Ayottes are the third owners of the car, which is still outfitted with its original Arizona license plates.

“We want to keep just like it is, just the way it was meant to be,” Pierre Ayotte said.

After lunchtime Sunday, the Ayottes were the only people participating in the car show.

Newlyweds Pierre and Linda Ayotte share the front seat of their 1963 Mercury Comet Sunday while sheltering against the rain during the car show at the Central Maine 4th of July celebration at the Clinton Lions Fairgrounds in Clinton. The couple said it was their first car show in the Comet which was purchased on their honeymoon in New Hampshire. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The July 4 celebration in Clinton had been previously canceled earlier in the year due to pandemic regulations in force at the time, which still called for social distancing.

Douglass, the chief organizer, said everything was up in the air for a while. Once the state mandates were lifted, a decision was made to host the event, but at that point, organizers had less than a month to pull it all off.

“Basically, we had 3 1/2 weeks to plan,” Douglass said, “and we put it all into one day. Usually, it’s a three-day event.”

Vendors lined the field of the fairgrounds Sunday while waiting for the rain to let up. Luis and Maria Lema of South Portland-based Runa Market said inclement weather has never deterred them from getting out to sell their products at events in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

New this year was a pie eating contest for which attendees could qualify throughout the day with a free raffle ticket. Apple pies were provided by Bee’s Diner of Winslow.

By noon, food vendors had begun preparing food as members of the public began trickling in.

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