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U.S. summer festivals being canceled

  |   June 23, 2009 at 8:27 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- Summer festivals in Bismarck, Mo., San Francisco, East Boston, Mass., and Toledo, Ohio, have been called off due to the poor U.S. economy, officials say.

The Freedom Fest in Bismarck, the town of 1,535's Fourth of July celebration, has been canceled because it couldn't cough up the $10,000 in costs, USA Today reported Tuesday.

"There's been a lot of distress" over the decision, Mayor Dennis Mayberry told the newspaper, "but we're having to really watch our pennies, nickels and dimes."

The San Francisco Blues Festival has been canceled this year after being held every year since 1973, founder Tom Mazzolini told the newspaper, saying rising production costs and disappearing sponsorships were to blame.

The 15th annual Italian Festival in East Boston, Mass., has also been canceled this summer as the three-day street party -- which featured music, food, a carnival and a sausage-eating contest -- saw dwindling donations to help it foot a $90,000 bill, USA Today said.

Also reportedly cut has been the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival in Toledo, Ohio, where organizers had hoped to celebrate the 100th birthday of the late great pianist.

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