By Kristina Rex

BOSTON (CBS) – Dozens of high school football games rescheduled in anticipation of near-record cold on Thanksgiving Day all over New England, drawing mixed reactions. The games aren’t the only Turkey Day events impacted by the cold, however. Holiday traditions, including turkey trot and charity road races, have been canceled, modified, or postponed because of the incoming cold.

In Andover, the 31st annual Feaster Five is still a “go,” but it’s a limited one at that. Rather than the typical 5-mile race, 5k, and kids’ fun run, only the 5k will be offered. Plus, volunteer water stops are canceled. Organizers say it’s about safety. “It was an agonizing decision,” said Chairman Tom Licciardello. “It was a really tough one. And we know a lot of people are disappointed, and we hope everybody understands that it’s November. It’s New England.”

At Wednesday’s Feaster Five Expo, volunteers handed out face masks to keep runners warm. The race this year is sponsored in part by Columbia Gas. It’s the company’s first time sponsoring the Feaster Five, and comes two months after gas explosions along Columbia’s lines killed one and displaced thousands. Raffles at the event are also raising money for the Lawrence Gas Relief Recovery Fund.

Other outdoor events in Massachusetts were forced to cancel altogether.

In Boston, the Boston Volvo Thanksgiving Day 5k was canceled Wednesday, possibly costing the Multiple Sclerosis Society thousands of dollars in donations. “This is the first time I’ve ever had to cancel this [road race],” said New England Chapter President Lori Espino. “Because we are getting January weather in November.”

“Really it’s a safety issue,” she said. “We do this [5k] early in the morning. Negative with wind chill factors. We don’t want anyone to get frostbite.”

Organizers of these events tell WBZ they know that being outside safely is a possibility even in single-digit temperatures with a high wind chill, and they encourage everyone to layer up.

Kristina Rex


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