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Coventry Family Arts Festival Canceled

The Coventry Family Arts Festival scheduled for Sunday has been canceled

The Coventry Family Arts Festival scheduled for Sunday has been canceled, the city of Cleveland Heights announced Thursday.

Mayor Ed Kelley said police had been monitoring social media and that they believed that they needed to cancel for safety reasons.

"We have a responsibility to never compromise the health, welfare and safety of our community," Kelley said. "We also want to respect the Coventry commercial district and the surrounding neighborhoods."

The Coventry Street Arts Fair was supposed to return in a modified version after the event was canceled last year.

The Coventry Street Arts Fair was cancelled in 2012 after police arrested 16 teenagers for fighting or drinking alcohol after the 2011 fair, and hundreds of kids congregated in the street.

Besides canceling the fair in 2012, city council also established a 6 p.m. curfew law for minors in the Coventry and Cedar Lee business districts, which were later amended to make exceptions for kids patronizing businesses and concert venues and expanded to Severance.

The chaos was coined a "flash mob," and it led to debates and discussions among local police forces and city officials about how to prevent the large gatherings, as other cities had similar issues.

Garry Kanter July 19, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I have no idea what you're talking about, or why you're taking such a tone.
Ralph Solonitz July 19, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Yeah Richard...are you an agitator?
Richard Hollis July 20, 2013 at 08:29 AM
Garry is a strange one to be questioning someone elses tone.
Diane DiPiero Rodio July 20, 2013 at 08:31 AM
I think we're losing focus, although this is entertaining. The point is, are we a community focused on culture and diversity? If so, how do we offer events to celebrate that in a safe way and send a message to would-be troublemakers that they are not welcome? I don't want my kids to think they have to be afraid to attend events in their own city.
Ralph Solonitz July 20, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Sounds like you are a bully Richard. Why are you attacking Garry?
Garry Kanter July 20, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Diane, I've seen nothing from the "authorities" convincing me that the fair needed to be canceled. So the problem I want to solve may be different than the one you allude to.
Diane DiPiero Rodio July 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM
So... maybe we have two problems? In either case, I'm sure we want what's best for our city. On another note, did the Cain Park Arts Festival go off without any problems?
Garry Kanter July 20, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I believe it did. I was chit chatting with some folks on Superior Park late Sunday afternoon, and they didn't mention any problems.
JP July 20, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Cain Park has advantages over Coventry. It is a much smaller venue, with highly controlled entry and exit points. Plus its geography makes uncontrolled entry difficult. There are a lot of volunteers that act as eyes, helpers, and ad hoc security. The vendor themselves add another layer of security. The event attracts an older clientele. Coventry has few or none of Cain Park's advantages. In addition our young people seem to have no parents moderating their behavior. Plus there is no curfew law between 1pm and 5pm to allow the police to limit the number of young that can come.Finally it's a sad state of affairs that when young people are so disruptive that they limit the freedom of adults. This is the tail wagging the dog. OOH for those horrible but peaceful times when kids were seen but heard. This makes the 90's seem like the good ole days.
Garry Kanter July 20, 2013 at 03:45 PM
I'd say this cancellation decision is as much an overreaction as anything. There's no other, better, solutions besides "the nuclear option"? No, that is *not* possible. Meanwhile, the CH police have had two years to master "crowd control" on a city street in daylight. Why is this so difficult?
Garry Kanter July 20, 2013 at 03:53 PM
For the record, I posted before seeing Ms. Rodio's response.
Richard Hollis July 20, 2013 at 07:29 PM
I will bow out of this conversation. Apparently some know far more about crowd control, police response, police training, and the decisions involving the Coventry Fair than I ever will.
Garry Kanter July 20, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Looks like one of us deleted her own comments. Has anybody seen the body count from all the riots all across the country today?
Ralph Solonitz July 20, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Hundreds of dead candles.
Bonnie Dolezal July 20, 2013 at 10:45 PM
How many of you so upset about the cancelling of this event realize that Shaker Heights Country Club also was forced to cancel their fireworks? Also because of fears of thugs or as the politically correct like to say "flash mobs" overrunning private property. Sadly your news media isn't reporting the beatings of innocent people and destruction of property. Research it.
Ralph Solonitz July 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Stay at home, hide from the world. Fireworks happen at night where boogie men dwell. The Coventry Street Festival is during daylight...no self respecting vampire would dare to show up.
Garry Kanter July 21, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Is this what you're trying to say? http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/opening_statements_set_to_begin_mx2DfIUaswLb8ljJRUNFTJ
Richard Hollis July 21, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Cleveland Heights has a City Manager form of government. I wonder if the City Manager was consulted on shutting down the fair. It is sad that comments on social media can have such an effect - the few ruin it for the masses.
George Burke July 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM
I would love to hear from our community leaders as to how we are going to regain the Spirit of Cleveland Heights. If we were not prepared then I challenge everyone to Reschedule, possibly Labor Day weekend since there is no air show this year. I think what is needed is a plan to make it happen!!! Even if that means Charging $5, This is a very important district in our community, Many students from Case and young professionals live there. We as a community need to standup be there and face the realties but face them head on Do not surrender the Spirit!!!!
Charles Taylor July 21, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I like the idea of rescheduling and holding the mayor and council to account on this 11th hour cancellation. The threshold question for me is: what exactly is the "threat". The mayor's reasons clearly lack credibility. Other communities are clearly going ahead with their street fairs. Only after we have defined this "threat" can we begin to address it. I don't know the motivations behind the mayor's exaggerated reasons, whether its an easy out in the face of budget concerns, whether he wants to play the cautionary figure prior to his umpteenth run for office in November, or whether the Coventry merchants were pressing for a cancellation, but whatever the motivation we still need to honestly exam whether or what this "threat" is that many are already assuming exists.
Ralph Solonitz July 21, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Yes for rescheduling....maybe Homeland security can qualify what is a threat. We are a Nuclear free zone what is the fear? I fear stink bombs from city hall.
Charles Taylor July 21, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I daresay you may then have much to fear.
Richard Hollis July 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I just passed by a festival at a church across from Severance. I did not notice and rabble rousers there.
Garry Kanter July 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Charles Taylor, I agree 1,000%. What prompted the most draconian "solution" available? Short of the likelihood of something awful, threatened by an identified person or person, which is *not* what they've said, I see this as typical poor analysis and decision making by city "leaders".
Diane DiPiero Rodio July 22, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Although we have disagreed on some points here, we share a desire to make our community safe and maintain the diversity and the culture. And some of us are a little miffed that a perceived threat of violence led to the cancellation of a cultural event. So... what do we do now? How do we work together to better our community?
Garry Kanter July 22, 2013 at 08:28 AM
1. Who wants to run for city council or the BOE this year? 2. Vote against the school bond that ignores 2,500 elementary kids all over the city for another decade.
Garry Kanter July 22, 2013 at 08:47 AM
#3. Do the proper analysis, actually involving the community, and come up with the appropriate Master Facility Plan and school bond issue in 2014.
Richard Hollis July 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM
I suggested to the Mayor that it might not be a bad idea to tell people exactly why the Coventry event was cancelled. He did not seem to feel that was necessary.
Diane Hallum July 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM
A Major Change needs to happen in this city. Citizens Leadership hopes to start that change. Those who attended the first meeting (Citizens in Search of Leadership) voiced their frustration but dedication to this city. See the summary of the meeting under announcements). Our second meeting, which will be with a municpa-issues lawyer, will look how we can CHANGE things. Please see the meeting notice in Announcements. The meeting: Aug. 8, 2013, 7-8:30 pm, Lee Road LIbary, Meeting Rooms A & B.

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