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Halifax vote clears way for Mudfest

A Town Meeting vote has cleared the way for monster muddy trucks to roll at Mudfest in Halifax June 10 and beyond.Kellymarie ZL

The Mudfest muddy truck event will continue to roll on at Nessralla Farm in Halifax following a Town Meeting vote earlier this month making a lawsuit between opposing sets of town officials moot.

Promoter Robert Bergstrom said he was ecstatic to hear that residents voted in favor of a bylaw change to allow the festival to continue to be held in the agriculturally zoned area.

The event became a legal point of contention in town in the fall of 2016 after the Zoning Board of Appeals sided with Bergstrom and against Robert Piccirilli, the building inspector and zoning enforcement officer. Piccirilli had determined the outdoor commercial fest should not be allowed on the farm, located at 138 Hemlock Lane.


The festival — the next one is set for June 10 — has been held held each spring and fall since November 2013. Bergstrom said 75 trucks, the maximum allowed by the town, hold races and compete in various categories.

One news account of the event said a popular phrase among attendees was “Drive it like you stole it.” Besides the racing, the festival features food, T-shirts for sale, and music. Bergstrom said such car-themed events are more widely held in the South, such as in Florida, and places further north, like Maine.

He said each fest nets around $5,000 for the farm.

Bergstrom said he will be better able to secure sponsors for the event now that the legal case is being resolved.

The bylaw change which allows for the event to take place with a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals needs to be reviewed and approved by the Attorney General’s office, according Town Administrator Charlie Seelig.

Neither Piccirilli nor Robert Gaynor, the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, returned calls seeking comment.

Jean Lang can be reached at jeanmcmillanlang@gmail.com.