New Castle County's Dancing in the Park & Food Truck Festival was canceled Saturday, due to the safety hazard of thunderstorms and lightning churning through the region.
The event, which last year drew more than 10,000 people to Glasgow Park at Del. 896 and U.S. 40, has no rain date.
After county officials monitored weather forecasts in the weeks leading up to the popular festival -- held in conjunction with National Dance Day -- the 5-9 p.m. event was on until shortly before it was to begin.
The National Weather Service earlier had called for a total of less than 2 inches of rain throughout Saturday and Saturday night, with a chance of thunderstorms.
Many food trucks had arrived at the park early Saturday and tents were up as preparations were in full swing by staff of the Department of Community Services, which hosts the event with the support of scores of volunteers.
But as rain began to fall more heavily than expected and the sky darkened, county leaders including J. Wayne Merritt, acting general manager of the county's Department of Special Services, continued to monitor deteriorating conditions as well as increasingly grim forecasts.
Some rain by itself would not have required cancellation, officials said.
But in the rainy hours before the festival's scheduled 5 p.m. start, as forecasts began to call for extended thunderstorms and lightning, County Executive Thomas P. Gordon cancelled the event rather than risk anyone's safety.