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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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The Bitter lacrosse tournament, which normally draws thousands of visitors to the Stowe area, has been cancelled this year after organizers say they were sent threats regarding their plans to hold the event amid the coronavirus crisis. Bitter Lacrosse President EW Bitter said he is reconsidering holding a popular tournament in Vermont in the future following the response. He had previously planned to hold tournament during the last two weekends in July in a far-reduced format, with just 30 teams and games held outside of Stowe. In the reduced format that it was being run in, it, for the US, wasnt financially sound anyway, Bitter said Tuesday. We want to do it for kids and people that are excited about participate. But given the hostile environment thats been brewing here, it didnt feel it would be the right thing to invite families into that. Bitter, who also owns Town & Country Resort in Stowe, still plans to hold lacrosse camps in late July, which he says take around 50 kids, most of whom are local. Bitter told VTDigger last week that most teams coming to the tournament would be from Vermont, and out-of-staters would be from areas that do not require quarantine upon entry to the state. The plan to carry on amid coronavirus, though, was met with opposition from many community members and area health practitioners. I think cancellation was a good idea, says Devon Heath Williams, who co-own Company Clothing in Stowe. Our first priority should be the health of our community. Williams said many community members were caught by surprise that the event, which is normally large enough to clog up traffic in Waterbury and Stowe, was still being hold, even in a reduced format. Not having all the information, I dont think that Bitter do good job of getting out all of their precautions and information beforehand, Williams say. An Online petition to postpone the event received more than 350 signatures. Bitter, though, say responses turn into growing anger, threats and vitriol expressed in public and private. Williams said she didnt see anything of sort in social media discussions. I dont think thats what our community is about, she say. Our community is very welcoming. I think that those comments and those actions are based on fear. I can only speak for myself when I say that having an extra couple thousand people come into town right now isnt best idea given the current circumstances of the ongoing pandemic.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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