In the end the threat of rain didn’t deter thousands from showing up to watch the skies light up at the New Canaan Family Fourth celebration.

Early on Saturday evening, the park’s sprawling lawn by Waveny House was packed with throngs of town and nearby residents picnicking at the 35th annual celebration.

As he has for more than 20 years, Norwalk resident Bob Victory, an umpire for New Canaan Baseball since 1993, set up camp in a spot adjacent to the New Canaan Town Band on the patio of Waveny House.

Along with fellow umpires Sal Gencarelli and Tony Supa, they shared a feast of sausage and peppers, chicken wings, deviled eggs and other foods.

“This event has a great spirit and everybody is welcome at everybody’s elses camp,” Victory said. “That’s what the Family Fourth is all about.”

Scores of small children climbed through a bouncy house maze and an inflatable slide, while the Exchange Club and Garelick & Herbs sold soda, hot dogs, wraps, burgers, and other treats.

The event is organized by a private committee and funded by the sale of $35 passes and donations with no town contributions, Town Administrative Officer Tom Stadler said.

The show was about $15,000 short in revenue, but the organizing committee raised more than $70,000 needed to cover costs after publicizing the need for residents to buy more passes, Stadler said.

“Last-minute sales were especially strong,” he said.

After missing the show last year, the Johnson family got to this year’s celebration early to enjoy a picnic of fried chicken and salads.

Scott Johnson and Julia Johnson, who moved to Stamford from New Canaan a few years ago, said their two daughters Bess, 8, and Kate, 6, insisted they make the Fourth an ongoing tradition.

“The girls are very glad we are back and it is a great event,” Scott Johnson said. “We expect to be here for many years to come.”