Saying that police and public safety providers are “stretched to the limit” in the wake of the Philando Castile shooting, St. Anthony is canceling the parade at its annual VillageFest celebration on Aug. 5-6.
Other festival activities will take place as scheduled, including the street dance Aug. 5 at the St. Anthony Shopping Center. That’s the night the parade had been scheduled.
The festival is St. Anthony’s biggest public event, annually drawing thousands of visitors and residents.
The quiet village has been rocked since a St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, shot and killed Castile during a traffic stop July 6 in neighboring Falcon Heights. St. Anthony provides policing for Falcon Heights.
“The parade requires an extensive amount of resources from the police, fire and public works departments, that are currently stretched to their limits,” festival organizers said in a statement. “With that being said we have decided to forgo the parade to ensure that the rest of the Friday night and Saturday activities can go on as planned.
“VillageFest is about celebrating the great community that we have, and while that might look different this year, we want to continue the tradition of this local and cherished celebration.”
The village added its own comments in a statement:
“Due to recent events, we are not able to provide adequate police, fire, and public works resources that are necessary for an event of this size,” the statement said. “We hope that you understand the circumstances under which we have made this tough, but necessary, decision.”