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Today's Blues Fest events moved from park

June 06, 2004|By CANDICE BOSELY

HAGERSTOWN

Mud, downed trees and wet parking lots at Hagerstown City Park caused organizers of the Blues Fest to move today's activities to the city's parking lot off Potomac Street.

All of the events originally planned for the park, including a picnic, five musical performances and children's activities, still will be held at the parking lot, city spokeswoman Karen Giffin said.

Admission and parking are free.

Rain, which was heavy in the morning but turned into a light or indiscernible drizzle by early afternoon, caused Saturday's performances to be delayed a bit.

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The rain was falling in such a way that it covered the main stage, forcing organizers to move one performer onto the festival's smaller stage, which faced in the opposite direction. Other than a slight delay, no other serious problems were reported, Giffin said.

Around 1,200 people turned out for Friday's festival. Giffin did not have an attendance figure for Saturday.

"We have a number of people out here braving the weather," she said.

Charlie Summers of the Hagerstown Police Department was at Hagerstown Regional Airport keeping an eye on weather forecasts, she said.

The National Weather Service is not predicting rain for today.

Giffin said a claim will be filed Monday on an insurance policy which can be collected if a quarter-inch or more of rain fell between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.

According to local weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net, 0.84 inches of rain fell between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Festival organizers promised to go on if the only weather obstacle was rain. Lightning or heavy wind, neither of which was present Saturday, could have caused a cancellation.

Last year, reports of approaching lightning and wind gusts of up to 60 mph caused the final four acts of Saturday's show to be canceled, even though the foul weather did not materialize in full force. Last year was the first time events were canceled.

This year, visitors came bearing umbrellas, jackets and ponchos. Vendors set up booths and volunteers were not scarce, Giffin said.

Although some people wore shorts and no rain protection, at least one person in the crowd was wearing gloves as temperatures hovered in the mid- to upper 50s.

"A lot of coffee is being had here," Giffin said.

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