Shockoe Bottom pushes 'Shamrock the Block' changes after brawl - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Shockoe Bottom pushes 'Shamrock the Block' changes after brawl


The Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association is asking promoters of the Shamrock the Block for changes in the events hours.

Video of a brawl between police and attendees at the event went viral, leading the association to push for changes in hours, alcohol, and security.

"We don't want to see anybody get hurt," said Shawn Gregory, who owns the Halligan Bar and Grill. "We don't want to see anybody get arrested."

While Gregory says Shamrock the Block is great for business, he worries the YouTube video could be bad for the neighborhood's image.

"Collectively the entire neighborhood would like to see it go off without incident," said Gregory.

The association wants the event to end at 5 p.m. next year, one hour earlier than this year. The neighborhood association also discussed starting the event one hour earlier at 11 a.m. to attract more families. Members of the association suggested ending alcohol sales earlier at 4 p.m., as well. The final suggested change is to stagger security so that officers are fresh for each shift.

"If they want to be down here," said neighborhood association president David Napier of the promoters for the event. "They'll involve us."

The block party has grown from 5,000 to more than 35,000 people.

"We don't want to run them away from Shockoe Bottom," said Napier. "But we do want to see some very important changes to handle the increased size of the crowd from when the festival first started."

Napier and members of the association agree changes are needed.

"Yes, we want this festival," said Gregory. "Yes, we want the changes to happen. Yes, we want to put together a committee that communicates with the promoter and communicates with the City."

The neighborhood association will discuss the formation of that committee in the coming weeks.

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