EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 2, 2013

Apologies offered for mishaps at egg drop

(Continued)

“That’s a normal course of business for us,” Robinson said.

The Amesbury Sports Park, which has been operating a popular snow tubing business during the winter, has hosted several large-scale events during off-seasons, including several muddy obstacle events under the names Spartan Race or Warrior Dash and a beer festival with live music.

Most of the large scale events, some drawing more than this weekend’s egg dropping event, have gone on without much incident. But in some cases, be it poor weather or not enough parking, the events have caused many of the same traffic and parking headaches.

Last September, more than 11,000 people participated in the 5K Color Run which began on Merrill Street and ended at the sports park. A traffic nightmare ensued when two accidents on Interstate 495 prompted the highway’s closure causing traffic to be re-routed through Amesbury clogging Route 110 from South Hunt Road to Salisbury.

In June 2011, heavy downpours and a crowd estimated at 35,000 created a logistical nightmare for event organizers and Amesbury Sports Park officials. Traffic troubles were exacerbated by an unforeseen lack of parking as heavy downpours turned two designated parking lots into large mud pits, forcing organizers to close them. Dozens of cars already parked in the lots were unable to leave under their own power and needed to be towed out by a small fleet of trucks.

Yesterday Gagnon said that the sports park may be holding events that are simply too much for a small city like Amesbury to absorb without incident.

“Some of the events are probably a little too big for Amesbury,” Gagnon said.

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