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Newport's Mud and Music Fest going forward despite denied permit

Thousands showed up to the festival bringing a variety of off-road vehicles.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 3:14 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 3:20 PM

NEWPORT, N.Y. -- The Maximum Power Park on North Gage Road in Poland is going forward with its Mud and Music Fest this weekend, although they are doing so without the permits necessary for an event of its size.

The status of the festival was in question after their mass gathering permit was denied. The state says a permit is required for an event attended by 5,000 or more people.

Thousands showed up to the festival bringing a variety of off-road vehicles. The park has a dirt track and a variety of trails.

The New York State Department of Health commissioner is warning people attending the event that it is not a legally permitted event, which may cause safety concerns for the public.

A permit application was denied back on July 16 by the DOH for failure to satisfy health and safety regulations. The DOH says Maximum Power Park is technically violating state law by holding the event.

The health department says it will be seeking maximum penalties against MPP, and will try to recover the state's costs of potential public health and safety hazards associated with the event.

NewsChannel 2 spoke with park owner and festival organizer Peter Lockwood early Friday afternoon. When asked about the lack of permits for the event, Lockwood said "I'm still under the 5,000 mass gathering, so this is still below our average attendance right now. We are very very close. Some wording was wrong in one of our contracts, so we are trying to get it resolved so we can get it pushed through."

Friday morning a woman was injured while riding her ATV at the park, and had to be taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Newport firefighters on the scene told NewsChannel 2 the rider was attempting a jump and was ejected from the vehicle. No word on the extent of her injuries.

A document obtained by NewsChannel 2 says the Town of Newport, where Maximum Power Park is located, has issued a state of emergency due to the "the crowd size, weather, and the potential impact on local 1st Responders." NewsChannel 2 has reached out to the Newport town supervisor's office for comment, but has not yet received a response.

In a press release, the state said it is "prepared to respond as necessary to protect the public’s health and safety." State Troopers have been spotted outside of the park entrance.

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