CINCINNATI - It didn't look like much Friday afternoon, but Lamia Windom's smoothie stand just might be the place to be at the Black Family Reunion.
In addition to fruit smoothies of all flavors, she also will be selling non-alcoholic daiquaris and funnel cakes.
Her booth has been at the Sawyer Point event every year since 1997.
But if you plan on coming, don't wait 'til Sunday, because neither Windom's cold drinks, nor the Reunion itself will be here, said event producer Cassandra Robinson.
"When the Park Board took over the operations for Sawyer Point," Robinson said, "they increased the cost, almost doubled the cost of the park."
The Reunion couldn't afford that, Robinson says, and keep the level of entertainment and activities people expect.
"I made a decision rather than have two days and not be able to bring in the national entertainers and the things people are used to seeing, I'd rather have one good strong day," Robinson said.
"Some of the rates needed to be increased in order to cover all of the park board maintenance and staffing costs," said Deborah Allison, Business Services Manager for the Cincinnati Park Board.
The shortened weekend came as a surprise to Tesa Todd. She brought her family down to Sawyer Point on Friday, expecting a three day event.
"You think you got something for your kids to do for the weekend," she said, "and it's only for one day."
That's not all. The Saturday events planned for Fountain Square were supposed to go until 9 p.m.
"The response back from the police department was no," Robinson said. "We want you to shut down at 5 and I said OK."
The police say the city manager's office wants the event to close early because of gun violence at Fountain Square after last year's Reunion activities ended.
A police officer shot Davon Mullins to death after the teenager pulled a gun. The connection between Mullins and the Reunion is something that Cassandra Robinson takes as an insult.
"They focus on one incident that really wasn't at the Black Family Reunion and don't talk about all the good things," she said.
As disappointing as the early stop time is, Windom says it's a good idea.
"I don't want to see people get hurt," she said.
Ebony McCurdy disagrees.
"They shouldn't cut it back because of that," she said, "because they're stopping everyone else from having fun."
Robinson hopes the abbreviated reunion is just a one time thing. She's already thinking about 2013.
"We've got some things happening that's going to be a little bit different, a little bit more exciting," she said.
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