PORTLAND -- Late Wednesday morning, Rose Festival officials shut down Waterfront Village due to problems associated with recent heavy rain.

The carnival midway was filled with large puddles and thick mud and few visitors were braving the storm to visit the Waterfront Village. So authorities said they decided to shut down and spend the day spreading sand, instead.

Rather than make it worse, we thought we'd close today because it is the middle of the week and it's one of our quieter days. We can get ahead of the precipitation that might fall again tonight and make the park a better surface when the public comes this weekend, said Rose Festival Director Jeff Curtis.

He added that the Rose Festival decided to make admission free on Thursday, once the Waterfront Village re-opens.

Photos:Rain-soaked muddy midway at Rose Festival

Not good., this is a big event for us, something we're looking forward to doing, Clifford Prevo with the Shaker's Vodka booth said. So the rain has put a little damper on things right now.

We were running around today and have all our stuff set up and its Portland, Selena Coffman said. We all know it blows over in five minutes so we're hoping it will blow over and we still get to stay open some time today.

The Waterfront Village is the Rose Festival's largest attraction with carnival rides, a wide variety of food vendors, musical entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides, handmade crafts and even a live, exotic animal exhibit.

More:Rose Festival Events Guide

This year, the Waterfront Village was scheduled to be open for three weeks starting on May 28.

(KGWReporterPat Dooris contributed to this report)

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