Austin Batfest may be scrubbed

Aug. 8, 2008 at 6:23 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Opposition from a furniture store owner threatens what has become a tradition in Austin, Texas -- the city's annual celebration of bats.

This year's Batfest is scheduled to run Aug. 30-31, around the Ann Richards Memorial Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge is said to be home to the largest urban colony of bats in the world.

Gege Cordeiro, who owns Your Living Room, a store selling modern furniture near the bridge, said her problem is not with bats or Batfest.

"I'm not against any bat festival. I'm against road closures period," she told the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin ordinances on road closures require permission from 90 percent of those who live or own businesses on the affected streets and from neighborhood associations within three miles of the event.

French Smith, the organizer of Batfest, said there is no way to compromise with Cordeiro.

"The only place for the event is the bridge," he said. "There's not another option."

Topics: Ann Richards
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