By Paul Lomax and Tom Liddy
MANHATTAN — Tens of thousands of screaming fans braved the rain in Central Park Friday night to see the Black Eyed Peas perform — months after the show was cancelled due to a storm.
Revelers came from all over the country to see the sold out, largely free show, a benefit to raise funds for the Robin Hood Foundation, a public charity that targets poverty in the city.
Writer Carrie Senzamici, 43 and her husband, fine art photographer Raphael Senzamici, 53, drove over three hours from Dover, Delaware to see Fergie, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap.
"We love the Black Eyed Peas since they began back in 2003!," said Raphael. "I'm telling you it was worth the drive! We wouldn't miss this for the world!"
Many in the crowd, which included kids, teens, couples and school groups, had been waiting outside the park from 10 a.m. and rushed to the front of the stage when the Great Lawn opened at 3 p.m.
Cynthia Campbell, 43, one of the lucky 54,000 people selected in a lottery to get tickets, had been waiting on Central Park West for hours to see the group perform.
"I've been waiting on Central Park West since 11 a.m.," she said. "I was so disappointed when they had to cancel in June, but I'm so glad they came back!"
And like Campbell, John Pelaez, 24, of Stamford, CT, who came with a group of pals, had been waiting anxiously since June 9 to see the concert.
"I love them! My fav' song is 'Where is the Love?'" he said. "It was the first track they released after 9/11, so it's very special."
The weather held at first, but the rain started coming down around 8 p.m. on the fans, who held glow sticks and danced to the music.
Back in June, fans waited for hours on the Great Lawn before being evacuated as thunderstorms bore down.