, Newburyport, MA

February 26, 2013

Canceled Eagle Fest a disappointment for all

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

On Feb. 7, we gave ourselves up to the Blizzard of 2013 and canceled both the Merrimack River Eagle Festival and its snow date. This was the first time in eight years that the weather on Eagle Fest weekend was so bad that driving was dangerous. Disappointing as it was, we know we made the right decision.

We’d like to thank everyone who made an effort to present this year’s festival, particularly our many volunteers, who would have been there if there was anywhere to park! Special thanks to our founding sponsors, The Newburyport Daily News and Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, and our partners, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce.

Weekend weather has been generally inhospitable to eagle viewing for the crowds that Eagle Festival draws. However, there are plenty of bald eagles out over the Merrimack River, and we want people to know that they can still go out on their own to see these magnificent birds. We have maps and advice at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats — just stop in and see us!

And please put Feb. 8 on your 2014 calendar. The eagles will be here again, and we will plan on celebrating them with lots of fun activities at the next Merrimack River Eagle Festival.

Melissa Vokey

Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center