The crowds are gone. The traffic has subsided, or least returned to normal. We hope that with the end of sternwheel festival weekend drivers will return to practicing courtesy to others on the road and sidewalks.
It's easy to see why tempers flare: Marietta's streets aren't used to handling huge crowds the festival brings for one busy, busy weekend. Adding to the congestion are the various road closures necessary to create space for the festival and its array of booths.
To be sure, the sternwheel festival is a weekend full of fun, food and fireworks. But trying to negotiate through traffic can frazzle nerves, too.
We don't know if police reported a large number of traffic complaints, but to be sure, tempers were flaring.
Driving around town Saturday, the biggest night of the festival, cars were parked in all sorts of odd places. Lots of out-of-towners were driving slower than normal, adding to the congestion on Front, Second, Third, Fourth Gilman, Franklin, Maple, Putnam, and Butler streets, to name a few.
There was more of the same after the fireworks with everyone in a rush to leave and this time in the dark. To be sure, it's a dangerous time to be driving around Marietta. Apparently there were no serious incidents.
We're sure tempers, flared, though and that's unfortunate. It only takes one sure run-in to wreck an outing. We hope these incidents were the exception rather than the rule. Still, it's a poor reflection on Marietta and its people, who worked so hard to make sternwheel weekend such a success.
We have 51 weeks to practice sensible driving and responsible reactions when things don't go well on the road. Sternwheel festival 2013 isn't that far away.