West Haven cancels upcoming carnival over security concerns

West Haven Carnival canceled due to security issues
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 7:58 PM EDT
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WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – The popular West Haven carnival has been called off this year over security concerns.

City leaders canceled the event with less than a month to go.

“It is probably a very big money maker for the church, which is unfortunate as well, hopefully they can find a date to reschedule to it,” said Jen Ligas of West Haven.

Unlike years past, the parking lot at St. John the 23rd’s Catholic Parish won’t hold the carnival, after the West Haven Police Department raised what the church describes as some legitimate security concerns.

“I just think it’s disappointing,” said Elyssa Menze of West Haven.

The carnival was planned for June 29 to July 2.

July 2 is also the night of West Haven’s popular fireworks show, and the city needs to focus its security and safety efforts for that event which draws thousands to the shore every year to watch the show high above Savin Rock.

Because of that, there wouldn’t be enough officers to work the carnival.

“I understand that you have prioritize where you’re putting people. It’s sad, sad for the kids. My kids are older now, but they loved going to carnivals and what not,” Ligas said.

In a post, the carnival’s organizers said:

“Next year we will work closely with the West Haven Police Department and Tufano Amusements to plan for dates that can ensure we provide a safe family friendly carnival. Thank you for your understanding!”

Those in town, will be looking forward to it.

“It’s just some place where everybody can get together and have fun where you shouldn’t have any problems and it should be a safe environment,” said Menze.

The pastor tells Eyewitness News the plan is to hold a parish picnic instead and start planning for next year.