EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

June 5, 2014

Company blasts decision on events

Council vote 'cut me off at the knees,' events head says

HAVERHILL — The company in charge of events at Kimball Farm is working on backup plans to relocate three large races and festivals planned there this summer, after City Council rejected the events Tuesday.

Marycarol Fowler, president of Front Office Events, said she still wants to hold the events at the rural East Broadway farm, but that she is lining up alternate venues in Amesbury in case the council won’t reconsider its decision. Front Office Events is a spin–off of Amesbury Sports Park.

The council denied permits for Foam Fest on June 21 and 22, Dirty Girl Mud Run on July 19, and Mudderella on Sept. 6. Councilors agreed to allow Sunday’s KidsFEST event to go on as scheduled because it was previously approved.

A representative for a company promoting Foam Fest said the council’s decision “started chaos with our participants.” Several people posted online messages yesterday stating they had already registered for one of the upcoming events.

The council voted to deny the permits in the wake of major traffic problems at Saturday’s Color Me Rad race at Kimball Farm.

Police said traffic was backed up several miles Saturday morning as hundreds of vehicles lined up attempting to enter Kimball Farm for the Color Me Rad race, preventing residents in the area from exiting their driveways by automobile. Traffic was backed up all the way to Route 110 and Interstate 495 more than three miles away, police said. Officials have used words such as “crisis,” “disaster” and “nightmare” to describe the scene.

But Fowler said traffic was backed up Saturday morning for less than an hour, and that it was the first time one of her Haverhill events had such a problem.

“I’ve had one parking problem in five years and I think it’s a little strict to cut me off at the knees for one problem,” Fowler said. “The decision to cancel all our events is extreme.”

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