Party canceled: Kent police closing park to prevent another large, destructive gathering

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KENT, Ohio (WJW) — Kent officials are temporarily closing a park on Saturday in effort to prevent an unauthorized party from taking place.

According to Kent police, social media users have been promoting a party at Plum Creek Park. Some people are reportedly planning to travel from as far as Dayton and Cincinnati to attend the event.

Kent police say the party will not occur, adding that they have taken action to close and barricade the park as a matter of “safety, caution and prevention.”

The City of Kent Parks and Recreation Board issued a statement Friday announcing the closure. It reads:

“The City of Kent Parks and Recreation Board has announced the temporary closure of Plum Creek Park for the date of June 19, 2021. No traffic will be permitted to enter the park. The Board states that the concern for public safety and city property is its priority and that unauthorized activities set to take place on that date places both in jeopardy as occurred on the same weekend in the year prior. The park will reopen at 9 a.m. on June 20, 2021.”

City of Kent Parks and Recreation Board

An extremely large and “uncontrolled” party occurred at the park on June 19, 2020, authorities say. The participants caused damage to the park and left it littered with trash, debris and broken bottles.

Take a look at photos from last year’s party:

Officials say they were unable to address the criminal activity that occurred at the party including: fighting, trespassing, underage consumption, drug use, drunk driving, destruction of property, feces being smeared on public property, unlawful noise and more.

Police, residents and other community members were tasked with cleaning up after the gathering, according to authorities.

“We are not overreacting out of fear of the unknown,” Lt. Mike Lewis said in a press release. “We lived this last year and we know what to expect and we cannot have it.”

“This is not a place for outsiders to come and engage in unruly behavior that jeopardizes public safety and city property.  We will not allow it,” added Lewis.

He says city leaders will welcome a gathering in the future that is organized through the Kent Parks & Recreation Board’s proper channels.

Plum Creek Park is scheduled to reopen on Sunday at 9 a.m.

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