Ice, snow force festival cancellation


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GREENFIELD — Once again this year, a major city festival has fallen victim to the weather.

After the Riley Festival lost the better part of its weekend in October, the first major winter storm of the year has caused organizers to cancel Greenfield’s Christmas Festival, set for this evening and Saturday.

“We’re terribly disappointed. We’re canceling everything. It’s going to be a scary time, and we’re most concerned about the safety of everyone,” said Sarah Kesterson, Christmas Festival planner.

After consulting with city officials, organizers of this year’s “Candy Cane Christmas” decided to call off the tree lighting, choir performances and parade and try again next year.

“It’s not the first time the Christmas festival has been canceled,” Kesterson said. “I think it’s happened twice before, and this (storm) is going to be a humdinger.”

At the city street department, street commissioner Jim Hahn was already preparing to send crews out Thursday afternoon ahead of the storm, which forecasters were predicting would arrive in earnest sometime Thursday night or early today.

“I’ve been on the phone all morning, and it’s a bit crazy,” Hahn said.

Though Hahn said crews were ready for the increased snow accumulation projections over the next 48 hours, it was the added threat of up to a quarter-inch of ice embedded in the storm that caused the most concern.

“When they were calling for three inches of snow, I was OK,” Hahn said. “And even if we get 12 inches, we can handle it. But it’s the ice that’s got me scared.”

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