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February 8, 2013

Latest cancellations, postponements

The approaching blizzard has prompted the cancellation and postponement of many local events planned for this weekend.

Newburyport on-street parking ban is in effect starting at noon today. Due to the duration and severity of this storm, this ban is indefinite. The blue lights will go on around noon to give everyone notice of the ban. Ticketing will begin promptly at noon and towing will begin at 2 p.m.

Newburyport Winter Carnival at Bartlet Mall on Saturday has been canceled. The city Parks Commission, however, is encouraging residents to enjoy the Bartlet Mall as soon as conditions clear and it is safe to do so. And Newburyport Youth Services has volunteered to help with a skate night or two before the season is out that will feature hot cocoa provided by the Institution for Savings and potentially other Winter Carnival sponsors. Dates will be announced.

Merrimack River Eagle Festival has been canceled, and will not be rescheduled for this year.

“It just doesn’t make sense; we want everyone to be safe,” said Melissa Vokey, a manager at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. The festival is hosted each year by Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

As the two organizations look ahead to next year’s festival — already set for Feb. 8 — Vokey said people hoping to still spy an eagle this winter can always call Joppa Flats and get tips for good vantage points, or attend of one their eagle tours or programs. Many of the Eagle Festival “hot spots” are open to the public all year, she added.

“They can always call us and get advice on how to get out and see eagles,” Vokey said.

Sunday Afternoon With Bald Eagles is still on for this Sunday, Feb. 10, from 3:30 p.m. to dusk. The program is presented by Newburyport Birders. The cost is $25. The outing starts in Newburyport from the Cashman Park boat launch at the end of Sally Snyder Way, which is off Merrimac Street. For more of Newburyport Birders' upcoming eagle events this month, visit www.newburyportbirders.com.

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