Justin Beights has appealed Charlottesville’s decision to reject his plans for the Festival of the Schmestival this weekend.
On Tuesday, Beights wrote that the city’s denial of his event permit application was an overreaction.
“In general I take issue with the city’s approach to the weekend of 8/12,” he wrote.
In June, Beights applied to hold an event with a celebrity dunk tank, music and a giraffe at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park, now Market Street Park, on Aug. 12. However, by the time Interim City Manager Mike Murphy denied the permit on Friday, citing safety and logistical issues, Beights tweeted that “my giraffe guy” and a Huey Lewis tribute band were unable to come.
Citing New York’s restaurants remaining open after Sept. 11 and the Boston Marathon’s decision to hold its regular event one year after the bombing, Beights said Charlottesville should have remained open for business and to the public.
“When the appropriate response is so obvious — and yet we choose the path of creating a police state — one can only assume that this is how we will handle future anniversaries of this horrible event,” Beights said.
Beights did not specifically respond to Murphy’s citation of public safety issues, saying the denial was vague.
Most perimeter and through streets around downtown will be closed to through-traffic or restricted to local traffic beginning Friday evening. There will be heavy police presence and limited parking, according to the city.
Murphy told Beights on Friday that if Beights appealed, he would need at least one full business day to consider objections and respond.
That would mean a final decision on the appeal could come as early as Wednesday. If possible, according to city code, final decisions about events should be made at least three days before they occur.