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HOBART — After a storm blew through Festival Park Sunday morning and canceled parts of Lakefront Festival, volunteers pitched in to pick up the pieces. 

Hobart Events Director Nikki Lopez said as many as 50 volunteers came out after hearing about the damage.

They helped collect damaged items and clear them from the park so the festival could continue.

“We were just trying to pick up the pieces,” Lopez said.

The crew of volunteers included a Hobart resident who serves on the Hammond Fire Department. Lopez said he was on his way home from his shift when he saw the damage at the park.

Lopez said he briefly went home to change before he joined volunteers at the site.

“Most communities you don’t get that,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said of the response from residents.

Snedecor was thankful for the assistance from all involved so the Lakefront Festival could conclude its four-day run.

The festival started a couple hours later than scheduled on Sunday. But there was still a variety of activities available, as well as food vendors and a beer garden.

The weather created unsafe conditions in Lake George, which prevented the Hobart Community Foundation from dropping rubber ducks in the water for the organization’s annual Dam Duck Race, City Councilman Dave Vinzant said.

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Instead, the foundation had a raffle to distribute the more than 50 prizes donated for the race.

Hobart resident Rene Contreras was among the lucky raffle winners. He took home a gift basket.

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Contreras said he and his family regularly attend the Lakefront Festival. For the last two years, they showed up a little too late to purchase tickets for the Dam Duck Race.

This year, they made it in time and were happy were able to buy five raffle tickets and win a prize.

“We’re definitely excited,” Contreras said.

Although the storm damaged the sound equipment at the park, the city was able to bring in a different sound system so live music could be offered.

Because of the massive loss of craft items, the craft vendors weren’t open Sunday.

“I feel bad for the crafters,” Lopez said.

To assist them, the vendors were offered the opportunity to participate in future city events without having to pay the vendor fees, Lopez said.

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