Md. festival axed over Jewish holy day conflict

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Montgomery County’s newly minted parks director has canceled a 24-year-old festival because it coincides with the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, angering some fans of the annual event.

Director Mike Riley announced Wednesday that he’s cancelling the Harvest Festival, which had been set for Oct. 4.

The event draws about 4,000 people to activities including sheepdog demonstrations and country music performances.

The Washington Post reports ( ) that on his first day as parks director, Riley got an email that the festival fell on Yom Kippur. The email said holding the festival on a day when the vast majority of Jews can’t make it is insensitive.

After trying unsuccessfully to reschedule the festival, Riley made the decision to cancel it.

He says he’s gotten dozens of angry emails since.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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