CINCINNATI — Coney Island found itself trending on social media over the weekend after a private party swelled to numbers higher than the park had approved and social distancing went by the wayside.
A spokesperson for the park said Coney Island rented part of the park to promoters who threw a similar pool party last year. S-and-S Entertainment and 160 Productions rented part of the park, with rapper Lil Boosie slated to perform.
The park approved ticket sales for 1,200 people for the party, roughly half of what was allowed for the party last year, to manage social distancing amid coronavirus concerns. A Coney Island spokesperson said the park told organizers to let no one else in and enforce social distancing rules; neither actually happened. The park became flooded with people for the party, with traffic causing massive backups along Kellogg Road outside of the park Saturday night.
Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies, hired to work at the event while off-duty for security, broke up the party and escorted people out when it became clear the crowd was too large and refusing to wear masks or socially distance.
"The private gathering was supposed to be limited to 1,200 people," reads a statement from Hamilton County Sheriff spokesperson David Daugherty. "As the night progressed, the crowd increased and the event became unmanageable. At approximately 10:45 p.m., Coney Island security and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office ended the party due to safety concerns and the large crowd dispersed without incidents."
No arrests were made and the event was shut down 90 minutes in.
Mike Samet, with the Hamilton County Health Department said the department was involved, as they are in any event hosted at Coney Island. They worked with the park on planning the private party rental and Samet said park management called the Health Department right away when crowds became too large and refused to socially distance. Samet said the park handled "everything by the book" Saturday night.