Hampdenfest is back on, organizers say

After facing cancellation because of a conflicting date with the Star-Spangled Spectacular downtown, Hampdenfest, the longtime street fair held on The Avenue, is back on, pushed from its original date of Sept. 13 to Sept. 20.

Rachel Whang, a co-owner at Atomic Books who helps to organize Hampdenfest, confirmed the new date via email. (Full disclosure: Whang asked me to be a "celebrity judge" for the karaoke contest at last year's festival. Insert a joke about the loose meaning of "celebrity" here).

She wrote that City Council members Mary Pat Clarke and Nick Mosby reached out immediately after the initial cancellation was announced to offer whatever they could to do to make the festival happen. A meeting was held last Wednesday with both councilmembers, merchants, and representatives from the city's permits office to try and find a solution.

As was reported by Larry Perl in The Sun on July 16, a consensus was reached to try and reschedule for Sept. 20. "This festival is too important not to happen," Mosby told Perl.

But a new date does not guarantee that everything will go as initially planned.

"It's going to be tougher with the date change. We've lost almost all of our regular attractions and competitions - we're actually still scrambling to see what can still happen," Whang wrote. "But the city said that they'd work with us to put it on the 20th and a bunch of Hampden businesses have stepped in to fill in sponsorship, etc."

The festival, which has more indie bands and vendors in comparison to the annual HonFest, faced a similar scheduling conflict with Sailabration in 2012.

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