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Fall festivals guarding against EEE


PORTLAND, Conn. (WTNH) — At the Portland Fair, volunteers are handing out free cans of bug spray.

To calm people’s fears, organizers at The Portland Fair had several discussions with DEEP, local authorities and people who are running other Fall festivals. The town decided to spray the perimeter of the fairgrounds in addition to handing out the free bug spray.

Amber Lewonczyk, who showed up at the fair with her two daughters, got to work spraying her little ones because of the EEE mosquito-borne virus that’s been detected in 26 Connecticut cities and towns.

So far, four people in Connecticut have been infected with EEE. Three of them have died.

“I have two little ones and I don’t want them to get infected with it,” Amber said. “It’s definitely worrisome.”

Organizers at one of Connecticut’s largest Fall festivals — Southington’s Apple Harvest Festival — also consulted with state environmental and health officials before deciding the festival could go on downtown.

“We treated any bins with water that we had — they’re chlorinated,” said Chris Palmieri, Chair of the Apple Harvest Festival Committee. “And we also had some anti-mosquito repellents in them, so we did take precautions for any sitting bodies of water we have at the festival.”

While News8 found some festival-goers with mosquitos on their minds, the situation in Connecticut with EEE did not deter them from going out and enjoying themselves.

They, and festival organizers, hope the colder weather — especially frost advisories — will help to knock out EEE concerns in Connecticut.

“Last night we did real well with a frost so we expect the mosquito population to be just about zero out here,” said Don Bascom, President of the Portland Agricultural Fair Association.

“Whatever we can do to kill the mosquitos and keep our festival going we’re happy with it,” Palmieri said.

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