NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival was closed Saturday evening because of the forecast for severe weather.
The gates closed at 5:45 p.m., according to a release from the Seaport Association. It will reopen at 11 a.m. Sunday.
"They're not taking any chances," Norwalk Fire Department Deputy Chief Ed Prescott said at 5 p.m. With two tornado sightings Saturday morning in New York City and a forecast calling for heavy winds of up to 70 miles an hour and heavy rain, organizers wanted to get everyone off the festival grounds before the weather hits, he said.
"The safety of our attendees is our most important concern, and, with the real possibility of severe weather, we've taken the prudent step of shutting down the festival this evening," said Jerry Toni, Oyster Festival Chairman in the statement.
The storm came through with little more than heavy rain, a Norwalk Police officer said at 7:30 p.m.
None of the entertainment acts scheduled for Saturday night, including The Village People, will be rescheduled, according to Carolyn Ripp, public relations person for the festival.
Sunday's lineup Sunday includes Lou Gramm at 4 p.m. on the main stage. Regional bands and singers will perform on the Heineken stage, including Tuna Squad and Bob Square.
Local dignitaries will compete in the annual oyster slurping contest at 2 p.m.
Updated, 7:30 p.m.