'Shamrock the Block' brawl could mean end to event in Shockoe Bo - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

'Shamrock the Block' brawl could mean end to event in Shockoe Bottom

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

This weekend's brawl involving police at Shamrock the Block could mean an end to the St. Patrick's Day event in Shockoe Bottom.

The Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association president says the event may be getting too big and too bad for the neighborhood.

Richmond Police were caught on camera in a physical altercation with a man at the annual Shockoe Bottom event.

"The reputation that this gives us is just another slug in the belly," said Shockoe Bottom president David Napier.

The video of the brawl has Napier wondering if Shamrock the Block should find a new block to party.

"It's seriously not comfortable down here," said Napier. "It's scary."

Napier notes the brawl has already gone viral with more than 15,000 views on YouTube.

"We've done many successful festivals down here," said Napier. "I don't want people to think when you come to a festival in Shockoe Bottom you are going to have a beer broken on top of your head."

David feels the best way to tackle the problem may be to manipulate the clock. The event currently ends at 6 p.m. He wants to cut off alcohol two hours earlier at 4 p.m. He would like the actual event to end at 5 p.m.

"It's almost to the point that it is too big for the neighborhood," said Napier.

The party attracts close to 30,000 people, and the event is growing each year.

"For one day a year the bars do really well," said Napier. "There's another 364 days that our reputation has been hurt by this."

Napier suggests organizers make changes or change the location.

"It's just too crowded down here," said Napier.

Napier notes construction on the new farmer's market and train shed is expected to begin this year. It may not be practical to have the event in Shockoe Bottom next year.

There is a neighborhood association meeting set for Monday.

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