Weather was a factor for the two-festival. Torrid heat on Friday night. Storms on Saturday morning. Rescheduled events.

How scorching was the thermometer Friday evening for the opening of New London Park Days?

It was so hot that the most intense and popular ride on the midway – the Hurricane – was not operating around 7 p.m., when the temperature was about 94 degrees.

“Overheated…it just overheated,” said the ride operator, who tested the Hurricane every few minutes, only to find it was still too hot for operating.

Weather was a factor for the two-festival. Torrid heat on Friday night. Storms on Saturday morning. Rescheduled events.

“It is one of the warmest days we have had in five years,” said Roger Stout, secretary of the New London Park Days, on Friday evening as he looked around. “I think the heat has affected us pretty good here tonight. Friday night has been a bellwether of how the event will for the weekend.”

Ami Allen, whose church was running a booth to raise money for missions, said that the Friday weather was impacting sales, particularly when compared to the 2017 version of New London Park Days.

“We raise money to support mission work in El Salvador,” she said. “This was a great event for us last year.”

However even with the weather issues, there still several positive events. The annual 5K run had 83 competitors, and several Saturday morning events were moved to Sunday, and did well, say event organizers.

New London Park Days is a nonprofit organization that raises money for several charities and events in the area. Some of the events and community service include a trivia night, Breakfast with Santa; Adopt a Family for Christmas, Easter Egg Hunt and the offering of two scholarships to Mark Twain High School students. Other events have included offering a Quarter Madness and a softball tournament.

“We try to do things for the community…helping the park, scholarships and adopting families at Christmas,” said Rhonda Stout, who as her husband, Roger, is a board member of the organization.

Diederik Kuijper, a member of the New London Lion’s Club, said Friday night that he was hopeful that attendance would improve in Saturday and his friend, Chris Thomas, sat in the beer garden, taking a break from the heat and munching on pork tenderloin sandwiches.

“This is a great community event. I think attendance will pick up,” he said. “Everyone is out here to have a good time and celebrate our community. It is little hot but I think people will be coming out later and tomorrow.”

Rhonda Stout said that despite the storms on Saturday morning, crowds picked up in the afternoon.

“It was better but there is no doubt attendance was down,” she said.

She added that it is too early to determine how much money the event generated to support the group’s various outreach projects.

“We just won’t know until we get and pay all the bills,” she said.