NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — St. Bernadette School will postpone its annual fall festival for about a month because of the ongoing threat of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Originally scheduled for Sept. 21 to 22, the Northborough festival will instead be held Oct. 26 to 27.
The private Roman Catholic elementary school made its decision after discussions with Northborough officials, said Melissa Kane, director of advancement and alumni relations. The town of Northborough decided Sept. 10 to limit all outdoor activities and sports after 6 p.m. until further notice after it was confirmed that a Westborough man had died of EEE in August. Other towns, including Southborough and Grafton, recently enacted similar restrictions.
"A lot of our volunteers had concerns about being out in the evening," Kane said. Festival activities had been planned from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
By late October, Kane said, hard frosts should reduce mosquito populations in the area. At the same time, the weather should be mild enough to allow the festival to go on.
"The weather should still be good," Kane said. "We may have to bring heat into our tent."