Jazz Festival Triggers Parking Pileup

ELLSWORTH — The Maine State Vocal Jazz Festival here was briefly suspended Saturday due to a parking pileup triggered by more than 40 school show choirs and jazz choirs converging from around Maine.

Hosted by Ellsworth High School, the one-day finals drawing numerous school buses and vehicles belonging to parents and well-wishers were halted for about an hour midday after all the middle school show choirs had performed.


Ellsworth Deputy Fire Chief Richard Tupper said he, Ellsworth High School Assistant Principal Renee Thompson and Jazz Festival Director Rebecca Wright jointly decided to briefly suspend performances until vehicles were properly parked and emergency vehicular access was restored.

“It was going to be extremely difficult to get a fire apparatus in there,” Tupper explained Monday.

Tupper said a warning was issued that vehicles would be towed in order to expedite the process and resume the festival. To his knowledge, though, no vehicles were towed.

“We were appreciative that everyone cooperated so well,” he stressed.

It has been years since EHS hosted this finale, and since then interest in high school show performing arts has increased enormously thanks to TV programs such as “Glee” and “American Idol.” So organizers were caught somewhat by surprise by the huge turnout of friends, family and well-wishers, from near and far, who attended Saturday’s event.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.



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