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Crummy weather spurs Children’s Day cancellation

A forecast of high winds and heavy rains has led to the cancellation of Children’s Day.

Planned for Saturday at Community Park, event organizers sent out a news release Thursday morning detailing the cancellation.

“The risk of running it was greater than canceling it,” said Bess Windecker-Nelson, one of the event’s co-chairs. “It’s not perfect. Many of the booths have purchased items and put time and energy into the event.”

“We’re really, really sad about this … It’s just not safe,” she added.

This is the first cancellation of Children’s Day in the event’s 15-year history.

Windecker-Nelson, who works with Partners for Young Children to put on the family festival, said 30 different groups and vendors were slated to flood Community Park with games, treats and information for families and children. No money or deposits were lost due to the late cancellation.

One of the Children’s Day groups took exception to the cancellation. The South Whidbey Kiwanis Club had already purchased $800 worth of food — hot dogs, buns, chips, water -—that won’t go to families at Children’s Day since the event was scrubbed.

Some of the food will be returned to stores, but the perishable items will either be donated or thrown away.

“They’ve made this decision without consulting other people,” said Ron Myers, Kiwanis lieutenant general for Division 20 that includes Whidbey Island, Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Orcas Island.

“We were prepared,” he said. “We have the food over there in the concession stand right now. We’re a little miffed.”

Bringing children and families out to the park, exposed to the elements, just didn’t make sense to Windecker-Nelson and the other organizers.

The Children’s Day committee looked at several weather forecasts that showed winds up to 40 mph and rain likelihood between 80 percent and 100 percent during the event.

“We can’t run the inflatables if it’s wet, and it was guaranteed to be wet,” Windecker-Nelson said. “A lot of the big draws were going to be difficult to do in the rain and wind.”

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