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First Friday attendees call for new safety measures at monthly event

Posted at 9:33 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 23:21:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — After a deadly shooting at First Friday's in August, new changes were revealed for the popular event.

On Friday, the Crossroads Community Association said they lost general liability insurance. On September 6, the First Friday event will not include food trucks, vendors and performers on the streets and sidewalks.

"I don't know if not allowing food trucks really fixes the problem," event attendee Mara Cressey said.

Cressey said removing food trucks and opening up previously closed roads is not enough for her to go back.

"It was terrifying, my friends and I were driving down the street and we just saw about 10 police cars drive down the opposite way," she said.

Cressey was there the night 25 year-old Erin Langhofer was shot and killed while standing in line at the Mad Greek food truck.

"I know we said we wouldn't go back and I think that depending upon what happens, but it's just too fresh and too new and at this point, I just don't know how we feel about it," Deb Tagtalianidis, the Mad Greek Owner said.

Safety is top of mind for everyone involved. While food trucks want business, they also want a safe place to set up. Many said they don't mind taking a sales hit once a month.

"We felt unsafe the prior Friday that we were there as well, there was another little fight that had broken out, again in front of our truck," Tagtalianidis said.

Cressey and others said they want to see more action from the Crossroads Association.

"There are no official entrances or exits, there's no way of checking what people can and can't bring in, so unfortunately, and I hate saying this, but unfortunately I'm surprised that something like that hadn't happened," Cressey said.

For the October event, organizers will implement more changes. There will be a curfew in place and First Friday's will be an alcohol-free event.

Organizers said food trucks will be welcomed back, but on a smaller scale.