New Bedford's signature festival canceled

An annual festival in New Bedford has been canceled this year.

The Whaling City Festival has been one of the city's signature events for almost 45 years.

The festival Board of Directors voted earlier this week to cancel this year's event. Officials said it's because of the economy, a decrease in corporate sponsorship and high operating costs. They've also had a decrease in volunteers.

The three-day festival was created by a group of volunteers about 45 years ago and has run ever since. The board considered other options including keeping the festival open later in hopes of attracting more vendors.

Officials had considered canceling the festival in March, but after public outcry the board reconsidered.

But with only three months to go before the festival was to begin, board members said they can't raise enough money to cover their operating costs.