Neighbors call for change after ‘death of fun’ in West Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - People in West Louisville are asking for change after they said high fees have killed West Louisville neighborhood festivals.
Ray Barker, also known as “Sir Friendly C” was surrounded by other community members on Friday in the Portland neighborhood.
They’re calling on Metro Louisville to cut down or stop charging high fees for security.
The group directly pointed to the annual Portland Festival, which was initially canceled in May due to a lack of funding.
It was later announced that Planet Fitness made a generous donation to host the festival in October.
Sir Friendly C said the festival paid $15,000 for security last year.
He said festivals were more affordable before they were required to pay for security, and added that a budget crunch forced the city to start charging fees.
Sir Friendly C is now asking the new administration to eliminate those fees since officers are already being paid.
He said neighborhood festivals play a key role in relationships and pride. It’s also important for kids to have access to these events in their neighborhoods.
“There’s a feeling of despair, a feeling of nobody cares about us, a feeling of abandonment,” he said. “When we had these festivals, these youths were able to bump elbows with adults who they didn’t know. They had a chance to be proud of their neighborhood.”
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