Berea Chamber of Commerce cancels 2016 Spoonbread Festival

BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – Citing safety concerns raised over recent protests, the Berea Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously on Thursday to cancel the 2016 Spoonbread Festival, originally slated for September 16th through the 18th.

Recent controversy regarding the sale of Confederate flag merchandise at the festival, including a rally held in Berea Thursday afternoon, appears to be the motivating factor behind the festival’s cancellation.

Chamber President Jennifer Napier says, “Mayor Connelly’s desire to ban the Confederate flag, add restrictions to the agreement, and tie this agreement to the use of city property, has placed the chamber in a compromising position.  We are a nonpartisan business entity that cannot take sides on issues such as the Confederate flag.”  Napier adds that when asked if he would ban the sale of Confederate flag merchandise in the city, Mayor Connelly refused to do so, saying that it would be unconstitutional.

According to a release from the Berea Chamber of Commerce, the Spoonbread Festival drew more than 60,000 people in 2015.

Categories: Local News, News

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