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Whaling City Festival Officially Cancelled

The Whaling City Festival’s board of directors has officially cancelled the 2014 festival. In a letter sent out Tuesday night, the 45-year-old festival’s directors said the budget simply could not support the event without taking on significant debt.

The board cited “challenging economic conditions, resulting from a decrease in corporate sponsorship, an increase in operating cost and a large decrease in volunteers which is the backbone of the festival,” in its letter. The letter also laid out the difficulties the festival had with city officials, who had insisted on an 8 p.m. closing time, which organizers said made vendors hesitant to sign up and put the possibility of a laser-light show on hold.

“Steps were taken by the Festival Board to gain this extra time, but were not met by the City of New Bedford until early April,” the letter said. “We had original decided to cancel the festival in March but due to the public’s outcry to continue, the board upon being granted an extra hour to stay open decide to give it one last run.”

The possibility of heavy debt, however, made the festival a no-go. Organizers wrote in the letter that the decision was “extremely difficult.”

To read the full letter, click here: WCF cancelation on letterhead pdf

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