ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) – Chaos and mayhem were in full effect at a carnival in Bellefontaine Neighbors that we know now should not have even been operating.
Multiple fights broke out at the carnival put on by Fun Time Carnival Show showing a clear violation of social distance guidelines in one of the hottest COVID-19 zip codes in St. Louis County.
Cedric Portis Sr. is a police chaplain with Moline Acres and Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church that sits across the intersection from the carnival location.
“This is beyond a cancer,” said Portis. “This is a spreader event. There’s no social distancing at a carnival.”
He says carnival organizers contacted him about using his church lot for parking and his answer was simple, “No.”
“Because we do not support this,” said Portis. “We do not support an event coming that is potential to bring death to our community and we’re just not going to support that.”
Now concerned residents and officials are stepping up and asking Bellefontaine Neighbors Mayor Tommie Pearson Sr., what is the deal?
“You can jump on me for issuing them the permit from the beginning, but if they followed the rules and guidelines we have set up, I have no choice but to give them a permit,” said Mayor Pearson
The mayor says he was blindsided by the carnival’s arrival and denied the initial request for an electricity permit on Thursday, shutting the entire operation down until he finally approved it on Friday
Pearson is pointing to the St. Louis County Health Department as the reason this slipped through the cracks.
“We don’t have a health department [in Bellefontaine Neighbors],” the mayor said. “We don’t have an inspection for rides, it all has to go through St. Louis County.”
St. Louis County Health Department says organizers tried to submit permit applications the same day of operation in violation of the 10-day notification requirement.
In a statement, the department said:
“DPH Health Inspectors were sent to the event to document violations and deliver a second letter stating that the organizers could not legally operate. Under no circumstances will this event be allowed to continue operations, and it will be shut down if organizers attempt to reopen.”
“The health and safety of our community is way more important than the money we could make,” Portis said.
Calls to the number on Fun Time Show Carnival website went to a voicemail that is full.
An email sent to the company that came back undelivered.