NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s official, the ‘Extravaganja’ has a new home. After 25 years, the annual Extravaganja which was held in the center of Amherst, is moving to Northampton.
Amherst refused to permit the event on the town common. After some searching, the pot festival is moving to the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton.
“No concerns at all. It seems like there is a lot more space over there so it seems logistically to be a better location. There seems to be a lot less traffic around that area,” said Chris Batchelder of Southampton.
The event got too large for Amherst, but the Three County fair says it will still be smaller than the annual gay pride festival.
The Three County Fair says they are most concerned about safety, but they will have a plan. They’ve be working with a contracted security company and the Northampton Police Department to control traffic and to make sure that everyone who steps in a vehicle will not be under the influence.
“It’s going to be similar to what it’s been on the Amherst common,” said Three County Fairgrounds General Manager Bruce Shallcross. “The bigger concerns was that more people are driving too it. Parking problems, that sort of thing. But it’s going to be a similar event to what was over there , which has always been peaceful for the past 25 years now with very few incidents.”
Shallcross says they’ll have extra security and are working with the Northampton Police. City Councilor Ryan O’Donnel represents the residents of that area and says he hope the event will bring in more money.
“I hope when people come here, they then come downtown to shop and visit restaurants here. It could be a big economic boost to the city. We want to make sure that not only are the fairgrounds clean, but Bridge Street and the routes in the town,” said Councilor O’Donnel.
The Extravaganja is run by the cannabis reform coalition at UMass. It will be held the weekend of April 30th.