Hobson event not shut down

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Hobson event that was not issued a special events permit continued at another location, but was not shut down by police.

The planned Hobson Reunion was denied a permit by the city for its originally planned location, the Macedonia Baptist Church, after the trustees of the church made it known they had not approved the Saturday event.

Organizer Mary Hill then said she would move it to the backyard of a private home.

“I consider it a family reunion,” she said. Events that are not open to the public do not need special events permits, but a sign posted in the community advertising the event said “everybody welcome.”

According to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George, Suffolk police received a call Saturday to a residence in the 8300 block of Crittenden Road on Saturday in reference to a non-permitted event.

“Based on the information given to police on scene as to the purpose of the event, no violations of the law were observed,” George said in an emailed statement.

On Saturday afternoon, the Suffolk News-Herald observed activities occurring on both sides of Crittenden Road, including dozens of attendees, a large tent, horse rides and vans for a clown company.

The dust-up over the event follows months of infighting among members of Macedonia Baptist Church, which has included disturbances during church services, visits from police, arrests and an election of officers being overseen by the Circuit Court.

Hill said last week the event is “about bringing people together” and “helping our community.”

Tim Holland, a leader in the Hobson Civic League, which opposed the event, said last week Hill monopolizes control of the event and that it does not benefit the community.