Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jul 2016
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2016 The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
Author: Loyd Brumfield


Group Hosting 'Lake and Bake' Event Questions Need to Close the Entire Park

The shutting down of an event hosted by marijuana legalization 
advocates Sunday at Lake Grapevine had nothing to do with the group's 
beliefs, Grapevine city officials said.

The third annual Lake and Bake was shut down because DFW NORML didn't 
acquire a special events permit needed to host a gathering of that 
size, Grapevine Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Mitchell said.

"Who they are had no bearing on why the event was closed off. They 
could be pushing beef jerky for all I know," Mitchell said. "It has 
nothing to do with who they are or what they represent. None of that 
is relevant."

DFW NORML spokesman David Sloane, the group's attorney, said the 
failure to secure a special events permit was an oversight on the 
group's part, but he took issue with the complete closure of 
Rockledge Park after the event was shut down.

"They shut the park down completely, but it wasn't by any means full. 
We had people who needed rides, but they couldn't get to them," 
Sloane said. "We thought it was personal because when people tried to 
leave our event and pay the regular admission fee to go to the 
regular part of the park, they were denied."

Mitchell said he had no knowledge that the park had been completely shut down.

"I'm not sure about that, but in the past, like for July 4, there are 
times when the park is shut down for issues of crowd control and 
things like that, but I have no knowledge of any order to shut the 
park down" Sunday, he said.

Sgt. Robert Eberling of the Grapevine Police Department also said he 
wasn't aware that the park had been shut down.

"The group was asked to leave because they were in violation of their 
lease agreement," he said.

Sloane said DFW NORML had no quarrel with police who showed up to 
tell them things were over.

"The officers were really very friendly and respectful," he said. "We 
were in a private area and we thought we had the proper permit, but 
that was an oversight on our part. It's not that but the remedy that 
we have a problem with."

Sloane said the group was given an hour to clear out of Jackson Pavilion.

"We had tents up and people cooking, and we had to be gone in an 
hour," Sloane said. "They had traffic backed up and down the highway, 
and it was a mess."

Because Lake and Bake took place in an area that adjoined Lake 
Grapevine, an Army Corps of Engineers special event permit was also 
required in addition to a city special events permit, Mitchell said.

"The fee is nominal, but it does trigger certain requirements," 
Mitchell said, referring to a $75 nonrefundable corps permit fee.

Jackson Pavilion, which DFW NORML had rented out, can accommodate 
about 260 people, but far more than that showed up at Lake and Bake. 
Sloane said he was told that 190 cars came through the park with 
multiple occupants and estimated the turnout at around 900.

An event of that size is too much for the park's restrooms to handle, 
Mitchell said, and portable toilets are required.

"One thing we never considered is the bathrooms simply weren't 
adequate, and we had no way to solve that," Sloane said. "If we had 
some advance notice, we could have done something about that."

When officers arrived to shut down Lake and Bake, participants were 
given various reasons, Sloane said.

"The police department told us it was the amplification of the live 
bands and the vendors, so we said we'll unplug the bands and make 
them sing louder and kick the vendors out, but we were told that 
wasn't good enough," Sloane said.

Mitchell and Eberling both said the only reason the event was shut 
down was because of the permitting process.

"Had we had more information about what they were doing, we could 
have helped them out," Mitchell said.

Shaun McAlister, DFW NORML's executive director, said on his Facebook 
page that Lake and Bake will be rescheduled later this summer at a 
different location.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom