South Philadelphia carnival adds security; requires adult supervision for teens

It’s the final weekend of the Southeast Youth Athletic Association Carnival and families lined around the block for a chance at some family fun.

Last Friday Philadelphia police shut the fair down due to dozens of teenagers who, they say, got out of hand and caused a panic.

A 14-year old girl was arrested, but thankfully police say no one was hurt.

Jim Houghton has been running the fair for decades and said this is only the second time they’ve had to close early because of fair goers conduct.

"I’d say even the older kids that were here were not a problem," Houghton said.  "This is just 13, 14, 15-year-old kids boys and girls alike, didn’t matter. It ended up the police shut us down. They were still in here and the police moved them outside"


That night prompted owner Houghton to bring in an extra layer of security and a new rule that kids under 18 must be with a parent or guardian.

He says sales have stayed steady and the rowdiness has died down.

"It worked perfect. We had nothing but families in here."

Ia’mir Young is 19 and says it’s a shame that a group of kids had to ruin it for everyone else.

"I completely understand it though," Young said. "I think it’s more than reasonable because kids in Philly these days are causing a ruckus. I think it’s only right that they set a limit on the age ranges that should be here."

Many parents say they support the decision and the added security and rules is a good idea.

"I feel like that’s good, because a lot of the minors in the city are reckless and they need their parents with them to watch what they are doing," said Gabby Byrd.

The fair is the biggest fundraiser for the Southeast Youth Athletic Association.

"They use this money specifically to keep going. This has been going on for a lot of years and it pays for a lot of things over there." Houghton added.

The fair ends on Sunday the 16th at 10 p.m.

This comes as new rules are set in place for Philly’s Fashion District after recent disturbances by kids there.

Beginning Monday, after 2 p.m. daily, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult age 23 or older.

There are other rules regarding behavior when it comes to things like verbal and physical conduct.

The city is trying to prevent chaos like earlier in April when a mob of kids threw rocks and jumped on cars in the area of 9th and Market streets.