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Weather may cut Ole Brook short

The 31st Annual Ole Brook Festival got off to a good start thismorning, but inclement weather from Hurricane Rita could pre-emptSaturday activities, organizers said.

“We’re on go today, and we’ll play it be ear tonight andtomorrow,” said Cliff Brumfield, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamberof Commerce executive vice president.

Brumfield said the Ole Brook Festival committee will monitorweather forecasts and make decisions about the festival’s future.He said forecasts now call for declining weather conditions around9 a.m. Saturday toward a 100 percent chance of rain around noonSaturday.

“If so, we’ll logically consider calling off the festivalSaturday,” Brumfield said.

Hurricane Rita has already prompted several changes in thefestival schedule.

Brumfield said musical entertainment scheduled for tonight hasbeen canceled. He said equipment needed for the event can not beset up whenever there is a threat of bad weather.

Also, Saturday’s concert featuring Newsong and friends has beenmoved to Easthaven Baptist Church at 7 p.m. The concert wasscheduled to be held in the north railroad parking lot.

“That is still a free concert,” Brumfield said of the move. “Anyand all are invited.”

As far as other festival activities, Brumfield said about adozen vendors had called to cancel. He those present were up andrunning.

“We’ve got a lot set up and lot more are coming,” he said.

Citing extensive planning and money put into the festival,Brumfield said it would be regrettable to have to cancel theevent.

“But as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the weather is somethingthat is out of our control,” Brumfield said.