Bishop explains why KC church’s Juneteenth celebration was cance - KCTV5

Bishop explains why KC church’s Juneteenth celebration was canceled

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Carnival rides and live entertainment were supposed to fill the parking lot of the Memorial Missionary Baptist Church this weekend, but the event was canceled. Here’s why.

Bishop Larry Aiken wanted his congregation to celebrate Juneteenth, which is a day commemorating the ending of slavery in the U.S.

At the last minute, his church canceled the carnival. Aiken said it was because of a miscommunication with the fair's third-party promoter.

“It's a letdown,” Aiken said. “I've been getting calls all day saying, ‘What happened? What's going on?’”

Sabrina Nemmers owns Toby's Legacy Show, which is the carnival company hired for the weekend. She said the conflict stemmed from electrical and water hookups her workers requested from the promoters but didn't get.

“This is the first time anything like this has happened and I was just like, 'Whoa,'” Nemmers said. “Hopefully it never happens again.”

Several carnival workers went home and wouldn't come back, even after the church offered up their own generators and ice water. By then, it was too late and the church called it off.

“The church did the best they could,” Nemmers said.

The carnival said it spent nearly $5,000 on wages and transportation to Kansas City and it won't be able to recoup those costs.

Robert Fletcher and others saw the event promoted on Facebook, but they left the lot disappointed. “ I got a few hours off work, so I wanted to have some fun,” he said.

The promotion and marketing company that booked the carnival told KCTV5 News that it plans to meet with the church to identify exactly what went wrong and whether the misunderstanding was handled properly.

“I don't want to blame anybody,” Aiken said.

Aiken wants to try the Celebration of Unity again next summer. “Hopefully we can recapture that for an event really soon,” he said.

He said that next year he might prefer to deal directly with the carnival.

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