MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Some residents of a rural Alabama community are complaining about a Spanish-language event planned for this weekend featuring live music and bull riding, but a local official said he worries such comments appear “anti-Latino.”
News outlets reported that people from the Snowdoun area near Montgomery have asked county and city leaders to block the “Festival Latino,” scheduled for Sunday in a field. They described a similar event in July as loud and raucous.
“Until well after midnight our community of Snowdoun was subjected to a disturbance like nothing we’ve ever endured before,” Mike Crutchfield told the City Council on Tuesday. “It was announcing, screaming, hollering, bright lights and heavy traffic. One lady said it traumatized her cattle so badly, they were still skittish days later.”
But Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said organizers haven’t violated any zoning rules so the city could not act. County Commissioner Dan Harris said he voted against a move to block the festival partly because of the mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.
“The timing couldn’t be worse. Even if it isn’t, it gives the appearance as if it’s anti-Latino and that being the case, I don’t want to be a part of it,” Harris said. “I don’t want the Montgomery County Commission to be associated with that type of activity and that type of action.”
James Brown, the event’s organizer, attended a commission meeting last month in which he acknowledged complaints from neighbors. Festival planners are committed to working with area leaders since they plan to hold future events, he said.