Everybody has their favorite spot for watching the 4th of July fireworks at Catonsville High School.
People who gathered at soccer field behind the Alumni House on Hilltop Circle were in for an unexpected surprise.
Just before the fireworks began, as the crowd settled into lawn chairs and relaxed on spread-out blankets, the athletic field sprinkler system started up--just like clockwork.
"We were sitting on the soccer field with many other folks with kids when we were taken by surprise by water spraying on us," said Arbutus Patch reader Karen Cave.
Oops, said UMBC spokesperson Elyse Ashburn.
"We're obviously very sorry that it happened," she said.
Ashburn explained that the watering of UMBC landscaping is automated, and timed to start after sunset to reduce water lost by evaporation.
While automated systems don't know from Independence Day, a human should have, she said.
"It seems that something wasn't communicated," Ashburn said. "That field isn't an official viewing area."
UMBC maintenance crews will try to remember next year, and make sure the sprinkler system is turned off on the night of July 4, she promised.
Considering the scorching heat, the sprinklers weren't all bad.
"I must admit it was sort of fun for the kids enduring the dog days of summers," said Cave.