Teens cited for disorderly conduct during community festival in New Hope, future security being evaluated

Updated: July 14, 2019 11:10 PM

This year's 50th anniversary of Duk Duk Daze in New Hope brought with it increased security measures at Northwood Park.

Organizers said that's because they've noticed a troubling trend at community carnivals in the Metro.

"Unfortunately, that's the way we had to adapt to the event over the years," said Steve Madson, who helped organize the event with the Lion's Club.

Given what happened over the weekend, Madson acknowledged more safeguards will be evaluated for next year's festival. That's because several brawls broke out and event leaders felt forced to shut it down early Saturday.

Organizers ended up turning away arriving families and those eager to catch a ride or watch the fireworks like six-year-old Abby Doege.

"I'm sad because I couldn't get in," Doege said.

Her mother, Tracy Daugherty took it a step further.

"I thought they should get the kids who are a problem out, versus the rest of us," Daugherty said.

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Abby's frustrated parents brought her back Sunday afternoon, hoping to make up for the disappointment.

"I'm going to the petting zoo," Doege said.

The local Lion's Club along with the City of New Hope host the festival every summer. Organizers said the turnout was so good that they were at capacity when the free-for-all's happened.  Even though new security steps were added, including an entry fee, physical barriers, private security guards and twice the number of law enforcement, rowdiness broke out, frustrating organizers.

"There's definitely added expenses with concrete fencing, security and other things we've had to do to make it a safe environment," replied Madson.

The Lion's Club said those added costs mean less money for local charities.

Abby's mom understands that no plan is foolproof, but suggested one more rule might help.

"They should probably enforce an age limit, like if they're not 18 or older they have to be with an adult or parent," Daugherty said.

Commander Scott Slawson with the New Hope Police Department said 10 teenagers were cited with disorderly conduct and sent home.

No injuries have been reported. 

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