Colchester Festival Cut Short for EEE Precaution

This weekend, some Connecticut communities continue to end outdoor activities early as a precaution to the EEE threat.

State public health officials announced Friday that an East Lyme resident died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis and a person in neighboring Old Lyme is in the hospital fighting the infection.

They’ve been advising families to avoid outdoor activity from dusk until dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

That’s why Colchester wrapped up their annual festival early.

For 15 years now, the town has hosted its family friendly festival on this weekend.

Organizers don’t remember weather ever botching their plans.

“We’ve never had a rain date, so this weekend has always been favorable,” Colchester Department of Public Works Director James Pagiola said.

But this year, mosquitoes are to blame for some schedule reconfiguring as EEE-infected mosquitos continue to be detected in the southeast corner of Connecticut.

“Basically you’re just looking at airing on the side of caution,” Pagiola said.

Saturday’s planned firework display has been postponed as a precaution and vendors shut down shop at 6 p.m.

Most community members we spoke to are getting used to these changes in their neck of the woods.

“Let’s say I have baseball practice, my baseball team can’t practice after 6,” 11-year-old Lucas said.

They’re glad local leaders are looking out for their livelihood.

“We’ve been reading the EEE thing and it kind of makes us nervous a little bit, so it’s probably better day than sorry, but we did bring bug spray just in case,” Chelsea Robinson, of Colchester, said.

A bittersweet, but safe way to wrap up summer here in Colchester.

“You got to live your life, you can’t live scared,” resident Chris Lovegrove said.

“You don’t want to get sick. That’s awful,” 14-year-old Caroline said.

CT Department of Public Health officials say mosquitoes continue to be active until the first frost.

Organizers in Colchester tell us they hope to reschedule the fireworks sometime after the first freeze and before the first snowfall.

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