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Cleveland Hts. cancels Coventry Street Festival for 2nd year

11:57 AM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- For the second year in a row, Cleveland Heights has canceled the Coventry Street Festival due to rising safety concerns.

Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson felt it was in the city's best interest to cancel this year's event because of new social media threats that have raised red flags.

"We've seen things out there where there's talk about fights, making the district rock or shake, it's gonna be hectic things along those lines," explained Chief Robertson. "It's not in the best interests of the city safety wise."

Cleveland Heights Mayor Edward Kelley echoed these sentiments in new release Thursday stating, "We have a responsibility to never compromise the health, welfare and safety of our community. We also want to respect the Coventry commercial district and the surrounding neighborhoods."

The sudden cancellation of the Coventry Street Festival just three days before it was scheduled to kick off, marks yet another long standing community tradition now in jeopardy.

Similar safety concerns have prompted neighboring communities to cancel annual events such as holiday fireworks.

"These are our long standing family fun events and the stigma is that people are taking it upon themselves to ruin it and there's really no reason," said Steve Presser, owner of The Big Cheese on Coventry Road.

Presser spent several months planning this year's festival and, while disappointed, he agrees with the city's decision.

"This was a decision that was well thought out there was documentation on twitter and there was a precedent set at St. Greg so I think they made the wise decision," he said.

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