Kentucky State Fair: New curfew takes effect following weekend chaos

Kentucky State Fair curfew policy in effect

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New rules took effect Wednesday night at the Kentucky State Fair after groups of young people caused a panic on Saturday.

The new rules come after someone fired a shot at the Expo Center on Saturday, around the same time a group set off fireworks.

Now, anyone under the age of 18 must have someone 21 years or older with them after 6 p.m., and they’re checking IDs at the gates.

“It was getting a little rowdy and a little out of hand, but I didn’t think someone was going to do something so foolish,” said Sheron White, who was selling cookies at the fair Saturday and left about 30 minutes before the chaos began.

“Some kids are spoiling it for everyone else,” White said. “(The policy change is) not fair, but it’s understandable at the same time.”

The new curfew policy requires those under 18 to be with an adult over 21 after 6 p.m.
The new curfew policy requires those under 18 to be with an adult over 21 after 6 p.m. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Many fairgoers shared the sentiment Wednesday, especially those with young children.

“I feel better coming tonight and probably would not have without that,” Amy Payne said. “I have an 8-year-old with me tonight, and I would have been very, very upset if he had been involved in or seen any of that because it’s scary.”

Fair organizers brought in more police, made sure there is more lighting and that everyone under 18 has a guardian after 6 p.m.

“It’s warranted after the events at the mall this year,” Payne said.

Many at the fair compare the new rules to policies put in place at local malls.

Kentucky State Fair Spokesperson Ian Cox said the curfew policy is a step to make sure people feel safe.
Kentucky State Fair Spokesperson Ian Cox said the curfew policy is a step to make sure people feel safe. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“I understand malls have implemented curfews, too, and I think it’s all for a reason,” Jaymar Bonet said. “Things are changing so I think it’s a good thing.”

It’s something the Kentucky State Fair has never done in 117 years.

“We never got a curfew and I’ve been here for 69 years,” Shirley Smith said. “Yes, if it’s time to do a curfew, I agree.”

Many recall the days of when they used to meet up with friends at the fair.

“It’s sad that your mommy and daddy have to bring you,” Cathy Horn said. “If they had a date, mommy and daddy have to tag along with the date. That’s sad that this world has come to that.”

While it might be sad for some, few feel like that should stop the curfew.

“It’s not anything I’m mad about, it’s something I think needs to be done because kids are going to act irresponsibly,” Bonet said.

The curfew and increased number of police will be in effect until the fair ends Sunday.

“This is a step in ensuring the facility is safe,” Kentucky State Fair Spokesperson Ian Cox said. “We want families to attend.”

Cox said they are going to be looking at how this pans out before they make decisions for next year.

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