High wind, heavy rain shuts down multiple Saturday events

As early morning winds rustled awnings and tablecloths in Sacramento on Saturday, organizers of major weekend events thought hard about whether to pull the plug. While some decided the show must go on, at least three events were postponed or canceled due to the anticipated high-impact storm.

The National Weather Service had issued a high wind warning from 4 to 10 p.m. in Sacramento, predicting that gusts could reach up to 60 mph, compared to a high of 44 mph since December. Sacramento County’s Office of Emergency Services advised residents to bring pets inside because of the risk of falling trees, limbs and power lines.

“There are a fair amount of outdoor activities going on all the time in California and especially on the weekends” said Bill Rasch, weather service meteorologist. “If you’re going to be outdoors on Saturday, be prepared for that wind.”

The annual Davis Pig Day, the Oak Park Pinewood Derby and the Midtown Farmers Market were all canceled Saturday due to weather.

Pig Day, a longtime Davis tradition that features pork-centric foods and family-friendly activities, was to take over the farmers’ market in downtown Davis for the 25th year. The cancellation was the first in Pig Day history, said market manager Randii MacNear.

As of Saturday, about three quarters of the 50 to 100 vendors, schools and performers signed up for the event had canceled, she said. The event, which typically features storytelling, children’s games and delicacies like pigs in a blanket, bacon sandwiches and maple bacon ice cream, will not be rescheduled.

“They've just been predicting this hellacious storm with wind, and people were worried,” MacNear said. “We like to put on an event that’s a complete event. We didn't want people to come and be disappointed by not having enough, so we decided to make the call.”

The event was to be held on the grassy clearing outside of the farmers market structure, which provided overhead protection so the market itself could still be held.

The Oak Park Brewing Co. chose to cancel its all-outdoor Pinewood Derby race, scheduled for Saturday as part of Sacramento Beer Week.

A pinewood derby is a competition originated by the Boy Scouts of America whereby participants make a 6- to 8-inch race car out of a small block of wood. The cars are raced on a wooden track, and there were concerns about the track being damaged or the cars being knocked off course, said brewery owner Tom Karvonen.

The brewing company held its first Pinewood Derby in Oak Park last year. This year, there were 50 registered participants for the race, which also incorporates contests for silliest and most creative cars.

The event has been rescheduled for March 19, affording people extra time to work on their cars.

“It’s for both kids and adults,” Karvonen said. “I know a lot of adults are making cars. It’s a brewery, people have fun. It’s a race for pride and all that.”

The Midtown Farmers Market, held every Saturday on K street, was also closed due to weather, and will reopen next weekend.

“We’re sad to announce that due to a large chance of rain and winds getting up to 30 mph, the Midtown Farmers Market will be closed,” organizers posted on the market’s Facebook page. “Sorry for the inconvenience! At least we know we are getting some more much needed water!”

In spite of the weather, the annual Donut Dash was held at William Land Park to benefit child life programs at Sutter Children’s Center and UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

Marie’s Donuts had already whipped up thousands of baked goods for the 4-miles-and-four-donuts event, so canceling at the last minute was not an option, said organizer Zack Wandell. The festivities, which began at 8:30 a.m. and finished by 10 a.m., were mostly spared from the rain save a major water dump at the starting line, he said.

“We did not cancel it, because we’re brave,” he said. “We were all sopping wet, but it wasn’t the end of the world.”

Wandell does not believe the event lost a substantial number of participants due to the weather. The dash raised about $100,000 for the children.

Sammy Caiola: 916-321-1636, @SammyCaiola