MONSON, Mass. (AP) — An annual Independence Day tradition in Monson has been canceled after a tornado devastated the town last month.

Steve Slozak, chairman of the Summerfest event, said there was a lot of sadness when he announced the event couldn’t happen this year. But he told The Boston Globe that while people were hoping Summerfest would pull the community together, the tornado has already done that.

Summerfest began in 1979 and can draw nearly double the town’s population of 8,500. It features events such as a frog-jumping competition, a soap box derby and a parade.

Slozak said several organizing committee workers lost their homes to the tornadoes, traffic patterns were a mess, and it didn’t seem right to ask the overworked police and fire departments to set up for the event.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Eastern Mass Girl says:

    My heart goes out to the residents of Monson. One of the proudest moments is being able to light off fireworks in your hometown and gathering togething to not only watch them, but to celebrate their independance and unity for each other. I pray for the recovery process to continue, and when I watch the fireworks this year, I will be thinking of ALL of you in Western Mass. God Bless you guys.

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