Weekend festival leaves Forest Park a mess

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by Robin Smith / News 4 and Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 16 at 12:26 PM

(KMOV.com) – A weekend soul food festival left Art Hill ruined with trash.

Art Hill is finally clean, but the City Parks Director Gary Bess said the promoters of the Kin Folks Soul Food Festival left the area a mess at the end of the weekend. Bess said the promoters will not be allowed to return to St. Louis City in the future.

Bess stated that the promoters did hire a clean-up company, the same one hired to clean after the Fair of St. Louis. But the company was only given a partial payment. Bess said the promoters violated their permit with music acts playing too late and too loudly.

“It is one of the poorest run events we have ever hosted in the park,” said Bess.

Bess knew this same promoter was in Chesterfield, but he was unaware of any complaints.

The St. Louis Better Business Bureau said the promoters of the Kin Folks Soul Food Festival have an “F” Grade with the BBB in Oklahoma City where they are based.

“We see [the promoters] as not responsive to the complains of the consumers, and that is why they have an ‘F’ grade,” said Chris Thetford, VP of Communications with the BBB.

Bess said he had no idea about their rating with the BBB.

“If I had known about the report, I would have followed up with more investigation,” said Bess.

Pat Williams, president of the festival, told News 4 the cleaning company was paid in full, but Williams said the festival did go on longer than what the permit allowed.

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