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People in Cleveland Heights React to City’s Decision to Cancel Coventry Art Fair

Friday, July 19, 2013 at 6:14 PM

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The city of Cleveland Heights has canceled this weekend’s Coventry Road Art Fair. The city said in a press release that officials made the decision after seeing messages on social media. ideastream’s Nick Castele has reaction.

Two years ago a number of teens were arrested after allegedly pushing people and fighting at the fair. It sparked debate in Cleveland Heights over curfew rules for young people.

That experience, an incident in a neighboring community and messages on social media prompted city officials to cancel the fair this year.

Suzanne DeGaetano, the co-owner of Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry, says she’s not sure whether or not police made the right call, but thinks the city is trying to look out for public safety.

“I think if we all placed ourselves in the position of a police officer, or a city manager or a mayor in getting lot of information, and your duty is to protect people, I think you have to make a call one way or the other,” she said.

Malik Williams is a 16-year-old student at Cleveland Heights High School who was planning to go to the fair. He says he wishes the fair were still on, and thinks maybe the city is making assumptions about young people.

“I think that most kids our age are more mature than what they’re trying to make us seem,” he said. “Most of us are above violence and stuff like that.”

Some in Cleveland Heights say they weren’t sure what the right decision was. Others say the city shouldn’t be cowed by a few bad experiences.

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