At least 4 festivals across Delaware Valley canceled over public safety concerns

In Chester County, the permit for the carnival outside the Exton Square Mall was revoked over the weekend.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
At least 4 festivals across Delaware Valley canceled over public safety concerns
At least 4 festivals across Delaware Valley canceled over public safety concerns

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- At least four events and carnivals across the Delaware Valley have been canceled as concerns arise over the public's safety.

What was meant to be a week-long carnival held in the parking lot of the Concord Mall in Delaware was canceled following a deadly shooting on Saturday.

It happened at approximately 10:45 p.m. at The LEAD Fest Carnival in Wilmington.

The carnival was hosted by the nonprofit organization Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence, also known as LEAD.

According to police, a fight broke out between several people near the entrance of the carnival when shots were fired.

WATCH | 1 teen dead, another injured after shooting outside Concord Mall in Delaware: State police

1 teen dead, another injured after shooting outside Concord Mall in Delaware: State police

"About five to ten minutes after I and the security guard closed the gates is when it happened," said Nick DeMauro, executive director and chief executive officer of LEAD.

A 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were struck by the gunfire. The 16-year-old later died at a nearby hospital and the other teen was listed in serious condition.

The suspect fled the scene and is still being sought by police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police by calling 302-741-2729.

The LEAD Fest released the following statement in part on Facebook over the weekend:

"We were saddened to learn of the unfortunate incident in the parking lot outside of the L.E.A.D. Fest Carnival at the Concord Mall after the conclusion of the event Saturday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted.

Action News spoke with one woman outside Concord Mall who said canceling the festivities is a small price to pay given the circumstances.

"We're here complaining about not riding rides and someone lost their life. It's just a sad situation," said Crystal Collins from New Castle.

In Chester County, the permit for the carnival outside the Exton Square Mall was revoked over the weekend.

The event was canceled after an unruly crowd broke out and an assault took place Saturday night.

The assault, which was caught on video, took place at a business inside the mall after the carnival had ended.

WATCH | Chester County carnival canceled after unruly crowd, assault caught on video

Chester County carnival canceled after unruly crowd, assault caught on video

In Broomall, the fire department decided to not host its annual carnival this year, citing crowd control issues and complaints over unruly behavior.

Finally, in Bucks County, the annual carnival outside the Neshaminy Mall is a no-go.

Bensalem's mayor says past safety issues led to the decision, which is a blow for Dreamland Amusements, the carnival's operator for the past 20 years.

"This one hurt because we had been there so long," said Bob DeStefano, a consultant with Dreamland Amusements.

DeStefano says fights and other incidents of bad behavior have changed the amusement industry, such as needing to take extra precautions.

"We've hired extra security guards, we have a K9 dog on the weekends, we have an LVT camera system at the front gate, we have wands coming in," he noted.