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No food trucks, street closures at next First Friday following deadly shooting

Posted at 12:53 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 18:42:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The popular First Friday event in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District will look different next month following the deadly shooting of a 25-year-old bystander in August.

Crossroads Community Association leaders said Friday that the next event on Sept. 6 will not include food trucks, art vendors or performers on streets and sidewalks “due to the loss of general liability insurance and the inability to obtain new coverage in time.”

As a result, no streets will be closed for the event.

Crossroads galleries, studio spaces, restaurants and some businesses will be open as usual on Sept. 6.

"This family friendly monthly celebration will continue in earnest and will be focused on the business entities which call the Crossroads home," the Crossroads Community Association Board of Directors said in a news release.

Organizers said the event will be returning to its First Friday roots, which is art.

"We’re just running the time machine back 22 years ago, because in the very beginning it was just the galleries and a few restaurants is how it all started," said Jeff Owens, vice president of the Crossroads Community Association and chairman of First Fridays. "That is what it will feel like this First Friday."

In October, organizers will implement even more changes, including a curfew and making First Friday an alcohol-free event. Food trucks and vendors will return for the October event, but on a smaller scale than before.

"We’ll be closing at 9 o’clock and everybody sort of gone by 10," Owens said. "We’ll have curated artists that are set up on the sidewalk. We are going to request that we don’t have any amplified music. Our food truck area will be a little smaller."

Erin Langhofer, a 25-year-old Overland Park woman, was killed at August’s First Friday event when a fight broke out and shots were fired. Langhofer, who was not involved in the altercation, was struck by a stray bullet near a food truck.

Deon’te Copkney, 18, was charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action in connection with Langhofer's death.

First Friday events are attended by thousands of people each month.