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Haverhill

June 8, 2014

Kimball Farm pushes back against city

Mulls legal action after council denies permits

HAVERHILL — Kimball Farm is fighting back.

Judy Kimball, the family matriarch and longtime owner of Kimball Farm, said she is considering legal action in response to last week’s decision by City Council to deny permits for three large events planned at the East Broadway property this summer. One of the events, a weekend festival called Foam Fest, is in two weeks.

“The city is taking away our right to get income from our property,” Kimball said. “I’m taking no more of this.”

Last Tuesday, the council denied permits for Foam Fest, Dirty Girl Mud Run on July 19, and Mudderella on Sept. 6. Councilors agreed to allow today’s KidsFEST event to go on as scheduled because it was previously approved.

Kimball said organizers of Foam Fest planned to pull that event from her farm if something could not be worked out with Haverhill officials by the end of the business day on Friday.

Ryan Cook, a representative of the company promoting Foam Fest, said organizers have already lined up an alternate site for the two-day festival in a nearby community. Cook said Haverhill’s 11th-hour decision to deny the event a permit caused chaos among hundreds of people who had already registered to participate. Organizers said they applied for the permit in March.

Cook and Kimball said they are particularly upset about the council’s decision to reject Foam Fest because the same event was held at Kimball Farm last summer without any problems. In fact, in a letter to police Chief Alan DeNaro, Haverhill police Captain Kim Parolisi raved about the job organizers did running it last summer. Parolisi was the senior Haverhill officer at the event.

“Marycarol and Tyler were very well organized, they had more than adequate staff and security as well as police details,” Parolisi told DeNaro in his letter. “The Saturday event drew approximately 8,000 runners and onlookers, while Sunday was approximately 5,000. At no time were there any traffic backups on East Broadway or Amesbury Line Road. The racers had staggered start times and vehicles entered and exited the grounds in small waves. This was a family oriented event. ...There were no ‘rowdy’ elements at the event. I look forward to working their next race.”

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