05 Jul Shimmer on the River loses some of its shine
June 22 seemed like a perfect evening for an outdoor party. Temperatures were in the upper 70s. The sun glistening off of a calm river. Not a cloud in the sky. The event, Shimmer on the River, brought to you by the Riverfront Conservancy, was off to a perfect start. Hundreds of guests indulging in an open bar, strolling supper, exceptional entertainment adorned with carnival characters, rides, games and food. And then suddenly, it was as if someone turned off the lights. The clear sky became dark and cloudy, the calm river was pushing out ocean-like waves and the 70-plus temperatures began to drop drastically. Event promoter Jon Witz appeared on stage and urged everyone to come forth and listen to the brief program they had prepared. Witz rushed everyone through their speeches, including Thomas McNulty, who was being honored with the Shimmer Award. In less than 10 minutes, the program, which was not much more than a small group of people introducing themselves, was over. Witz grabbed the microphone and in a very, oh-by-the-way attitude, uttered something to the effect that we have been told to vacate the premises immediately. What? We knew the situation was serious when he announced that all bartenders should not serve any more drinks, but to shut down the bars and leave the premises. Some 400 people ran in the rain for the valet. Seems everyone got out safely, but the Shimmer on the River became more of a blast on the water.