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Heat Wave Postpones North Adams Beach Party

Staff Reports
10:35AM / Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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The Beach Party has been postponed from this Friday because of a heatwave and storm system forecast for the region.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The oppressive heat and warning of severe thunderstorms has prompted the rescheduling of Friday's Eagle Street Beach Party until next week.

It will be held on its already scheduled rain date of Friday, July 29, beginning at 3:30.

"We have volunteers spreading the sand, musicians playing all day/evening, and many families, including young and old (but young-at-heart) who would be under direct sun for long periods," creator and organizer Eric Rudd wrote us. "So for all those reasons, and in consultation with the mayor's office, we have postponed the events for one week until Friday, July 29."

The annual event started by Rudd, a local artist, puts tons of sand on historic Eagle Street, creating a blank slate for building sand castles and sculptures for all ages. Beginning last year, a more adult Mexican Fiesta was added in the evening with adult games and contests, and margaritas.

However, the heat wave barreling down on the Berkshires could well turn the beach into burning sands. Temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s and with spike in humidity. The National Weather Service has issued an "excessive heat watch" for Thursday and Friday.

"[Local meteorologist] John Hockridge said it will feel like a 105 degrees during the family portion of the event," organizer Keith Bona wrote us. "We felt for the safety and health of the children, musicians, volunteers and DPW it was best to move the event."

The family portion will run next Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 after 250,000 tons  pounds of sand, donated by Specialty Minerals of Adams and delivered by the city's Department of Public Works, are poured over the street. The Beach Party is free for all to attend and includes Rudd's 13th annual Community Sculpture. Create a sandwork of art and win prizes.

Mildred Elley School in Pittsfield and Village Pizza have each donated 250 sand pails and shovels; Adams Co-operative Bank and Smith Watson & Co., CPAs are sponsoring the entertainment for both events. The adult fiesta begins at 7 p.m.

Look for more details next week. Volunteers are needed next week to help with spreading the sand beginning at 1:30. Just show up; shovels will be provided.

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