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Coventry Fair May Be Canceled, Organizers Say

Sunday's Coventry Street Arts Fair ended on a bad note when kids wouldn't leave and started fighting

The future of the Coventry Street Arts Fair is in limbo. 

Sunday was the first fair of the summer, and although most of the day went smoothly, kids crowded the street near the end and refused to leave. 

South Euclid and Shaker Heights police were called to help Cleveland Heights police disperse the crowd and stop fights.

“There were kids fighting, but it was among themselves. We’re dealing with kids that don’t care,” said Steve Presser, owner of and a member of the Coventry Village Special Improvement District, which organizes the event. He helped police encourage teens to leave, but he said, “They didn’t want to listen.”

He said it’s possible that the next fair, scheduled July 24, will be canceled because of the incidents near the end and after the festival Sunday.  

“We’re definitely looking at if we’re going to have a July festival in place,” he said. “Kids decided they didn’t want to respect the (fair) or each other.”

He said merchants on Coventry and city officials will meet sometime in the near future to discuss changes that could help avoid some of the problems of the past, and he hopes avoid ending the event all together.

One suggestion he offered is to charge admission and give out wristbands. Another is to shorten the fair an hour, so it ends at 5 p.m.

It was to give vendors more time and to make the atmosphere more “family-friendly,” Presser said. Last year, the fair was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on a few Thursdays throughout the summer.

“We have to talk to all the powers that be — the merchants, the city, the police — to find out if they feel comfortable (having another fair),” Presser said. “People have to understand this is a big decision, and it’s not made in a vacuum.

Presser sounded disappointed that the fair but ended so badly.  

“The good parts were wonderful. Initially it was just fantastic. We had a lot of families, a lot of kids having a good time. There was good music and the vendors did well,” he said. “The issue was that the kids didn’t want to leave.” 

Maria Smith July 04, 2011 at 11:19 PM
My opinion on the whole situation is that yes it would be nice to make a change so that the disturbances will go away but i don't think every teen should be punishhed. Im a teen myself and i love goin to the street fair's not to fight or start any problems but just simply to go and have a fun time with my friends. i think that people that do not live in cleveland heights should NOT attend are fair. This will at least calm things down. !
lolita July 07, 2011 at 08:50 PM
I tell you this, I think and really believe that the police should call the parent and release them to the parents and also, FINE THE PARENTS, for letting their underage child run wild in the streets without adult supervision. I will say this again, I will bet you a hundred percent this will decrease this foolishness that is going on. HIT WHERE IT HURTS, THE POCKETS. I bet there will be a lot more discipline going on when the parents realize that it will cost them money to let their children, yes children go unsupervised. And how can it be okay to charge parents for allowing their underage children to drink at parties but not charge them when their child is committing crimes because of being unsupervised. The teenagers should be required to be accompanied by an adult and then of they act up, the accompanying adult be fined. I am in partial agreement with what Maria Smith said that if you do not live in Cleveland Heights, you should not attend the fair. I think that the fair is a great source of revenue and helps bring in new customers that keep the business going. But I can see her point and do agree. I was told by a resident in Garfield Heights, that they used to have a fair , but it was discontinued because of the same behavior. Also the Slavic village, I am not sure if that is the save as the E. 185 street fair which closed down due to the same type of street behavior, My sister and really had a good time there and was sorry it was not renewed.
lolita July 07, 2011 at 08:55 PM
I have a lot of typos in the previous statement, sorry, I guess I was typing to fast. But the fair that was held on E. 185 street was a very fun event. I remember when my sister and I went, we had a lot of fun. Then a couple of years later I wanted to take my children and was told that it was canceled, forever.
lolita July 07, 2011 at 09:12 PM
I am black as well and do not appreciate racist comments. The city of Cleveland Heights really need to listen to the black community and to what they have to say about this ongoing problem. PLEASE PROSECUTE BY WAY OF MONEY. FINE THE PARENTS OR AT LEAST THREATENED TO FINE, AND START THE FIRST OFFENSE AT ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, SECOND OFFENSE, 200 DOLLARS, AND THIRD OFFENSE, ONE THOUSANDS DOLLARS. THINK that won`t help? try it, I guarantee that it will work. Who in this economy have even one hundred dollars to give for nothing in return, for bad stupid behavior. I know I don`t. Someone please listen, we know what we are talking about.
RT July 10, 2011 at 04:51 AM
The only ones with that kind of money, in this economy, are drug dealers and those on public assistance. They same people who spawn these troublemakers.

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