The Real Reason Barberton Cherry Blossom was Cancelled
Bebe Heitic stated that the reason Barberton Cherry Blossom was canceled was the fact the Barberton Jaycees and the City could not agree to permits based upon safety concerns. Last year, there was a major confrontation in the McDonald’s parking lot. About 20 people surrounded a car and the people would not move or leave. So they had to be pepper-sprayed. There were several other incidents during last year’s event.
The weather was warm and the crowds were large last year. About 40,000 attended the festival bringing in about $2 million dollars into the community. The Barberton Jaycees make about $50,000 from the event which funds kids without school supplies and other community programs.
Shaun “Rocky” Jaber, said that the city did not try very hard to keep the festival. In previous years, the Barberton Police and the City have expressed doubts about continuing the festival due to security concerns. There has been trouble and fights over the past five years. Kenmore Days held the following weekend after Barberton Cherry Blossom was canceled two years ago due to safety concerns.
Barberton Police have a legitimate safety concern. And the Mayor is right. If it is not safe, Barberton residents will stay home. Only the outside trouble-makers will attend.
The Jaycees offered to pay for more police, but Barberton City officials said that they could not guarantee that they could provide enough Barberton Police. In other words, you can not force overtime.
The Barberton Jaycees offered to hire outside security but the police union would not allow this. One can conclude that City officials did not want the event in its present form. Barberton City officials have legitimate safety concerns!