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Festival all pluckered out

Due to bad luck Saturday, Spring Hill had no pluck over the weekend.

Organizers canceled the 22nd annual Spring Hill Chicken Pluckin' Contest in light of the heavy rain and tornado that touched down Saturday afternoon, damaging dozens of homes and some other buildings. The contest, begun in 1970 to lure home buyers, headlines the community's annual Chicken Pluckin' Festival, which did continue, although inside.

About 1,000 people filtered in and out after the festival was moved inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, where it is hosted each year, said organizer Gus Scumaci. Because of limited space, merchants who had rented booths were not allowed inside, he added.

But despite the attempt to keep the festival alive, the sogginess sank spirits.

"It went real well inside, but it was a dud because you could only put so many people there," Scumaci said. "I would say it was a total loss. It was a rough day all around."

The hall could accommodate only 360 people at a time, Scumaci said, but organizers were never in any danger of exceeding that amount.