Coventry Arts Street Fair Canceled Due to Last Year’s Flash Mob

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – The popular and historic Coventry Arts Street Fair is canceled this year – because of what happened last year.

“It sucks that a group of people can ruin it for an entire community,” said street fair fan Brooke Sahni.

Police estimate 1,000 kids descended on the Coventry Arts Street Fair last year in flash mob fashion.

Fights broke out, some ran from police, several were arrested and the street fair was shut down early.

This year, it won’t start at all.

“When you have 20,000 or 10,000 people on the street, depending on the time of day, and people are running at reckless abandon, people had some of their wares knocked down, people are bumped,” said Coventry Arts Street Fair spokesman Steve Presser.

Presser, who also owns ‘Big Fun,’ said city leaders, merchants and neighbors need more time to map out security and ensure the street fair, which dates back to the early ’70s, remains a family-friendly event.

Fair fans are disappointed.

“That’s unfortunate because you don’t have that blend going on,” said street performer Hashim El-Ra-Mum.

“It’s always the chosen few who mess up everything for everybody else,” said street fair fan Aristotle Riggins.

“I think it’s a shame. Those are some of the best festivals of the summer. They bring it every year and I’ve been coming since I was about 13 now,” said Zac Budin.

This year, instead of a one-day Coventry Arts Street Fair, Presser said they are going to be taking some of the performances and activities, and have them on separate days throughout the summer.

“We’re going to figure out how we are going to have a fantastic street fair, hopefully two of them in 2013,” Presser said.

He said this year there will be free movies and music on Thursdays, and other activities, such as yoga, drum circles, kick ball and kite flying on other days.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.