Event organizer

Canceled BBQ Festival organizer says city had no reason to cancel – FOX23 News

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – The Mayor of Broken Arrow said the town really wanted a food festival, which was canceled at the last minute, to take place, but the event organizer said he was devastated and he there was no reason for the city to close it.

In a Facebook post, the Town of Broken Arrow said the BBQ and Hot Sauce Festival was not allowed to continue due to health and safety concerns.

The Everybody’s Favorite BBQ and Hot Sauce festival was canceled at the last minute and the city said the organizer didn’t have all the arrangements in place.

“We were thrilled to have them and it’s just unfortunate, it’s unfortunate that they had to be closed,” Broken Arrow Mayor Debra Wimpee said.

On Facebook, the city said the event didn’t follow safety plans and didn’t provide enough bins for trash.

“Absolutely, the City of Broken Arrow wanted this event to happen, but we need it to happen in a safe environment,” Mayor Wimpee said.

But event organizer Patrick Williams said he had it all sorted.

“I have pictures of containers, I have dumpsters, I have light towers, I have everything,” Williams said.

Williams said around 2,000 people lined up to take part in the event and he is very upset that it was cancelled.

“Devastated, devastated, I can’t believe this happened, this shouldn’t have happened, there was no reason for this to happen,” he said.

Williams also said he had security and showed FOX23 an email he said was from the city saying he needed at least six security guards. Williams said he had five.

“I had five security guards here, they were late, I can show you my license, I can show you my bill from the security company,” he said.

He said the email said if the six guard requirement was not met on the day the Broken Arrow Police Department would have to provide duty officers at a cost to the event.

“I was told I needed six security guards, I was told by email that if I didn’t meet those six security guards they would be supplemented by police officers from Broken Arrow,” said Williams.

“I said ‘cancel the event?’ Why? You said it was in your hands and you were going to hire the police, you told me that verbally, and it was told to me in an email yesterday,” he continued. “So if it’s really in the interest of the people, why don’t you bring in the six officers?”

Mayor Wimpee said they didn’t have the staff for that.

“The police officers we have staffed are day-to-day, you have a minimum number per day,” she said.

Mayor Wimpee said about three weeks ago that Willaims had no arrangements in place, so he had more time to show he had met the requirements to stage the event.

Williams said he posted all arrangements online. Wimpee said he was told on paper that he did, but security was not present at the event.

“It’s just very unfortunate that he couldn’t go on and organize the event because I heard there was a great band and performances taking place and it would have been amazing and we would have lived for the event to continue and it’s just an unfortunate situation that we had to close due to security concerns and no security in place,” Mayor Wimpee said.

Tickets cost between $20 and $75, and Williams said they would be refunded.

“Absolutely everyone will be reimbursed, everyone is continuously reimbursed, it’s just the honorable thing to do,” he said.

Williams said people can get their money back from their point of sale.