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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 8/26/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Perrysburg prepares for concert crowd

Hip-hop show aims for thousands

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Several big name hip-hop artists coming to Perrysburg Heights on Saturday have local police departments and businesses preparing for large crowds.

The two-day Mexican American Hip Hop Festival at the Perrysburg Community Center, in Perrysburg Heights, will feature Coolio, Naughty By Nature, and a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony member. Organizers expect the acts to attract thousands of fans. The center is hoping for more than 10,000 people to attend the two-day event.

City of Perrysburg police have warned local businesses about the potential for large numbers of visitors and traffic.

“I’m concerned about being able to get in and out of my business,” said Ann Prueter of Great Lakes Urgent Care off State Rt. 25, which backs up to Perrysburg Heights.

Because the facility is concerned concert-goers will use its parking lot, the urgent care is hiring guards from a security firm to keep parking spaces open for customers, she said.

Concert organizers also have organized security for the event. Thirty officers from Perrysburg Township police and 25 guards from a private security firm will be working at the festival. The community center is estimating to pay around $20,000 for security this weekend.

“We’re hoping everyone comes out, enjoys the music, and goes home,” said Township Deputy Chief Michael Gilmore. “I hope we have a bunch of bored police officers.”

Perrysburg Heights is near State Rt. 25 and Roachton Road. The main stage will be set up in the grassy area east of the center, facing toward State Rt. 25 and Levis Commons.

“Levis will hear the show,” said Jason Craig, event coordinator for the Perrysburg Heights Community Association. “The sound will probably be a problem with [Heights] residents. But it is not going to be louder than our normal festival, and we will be done by 11 p.m.”

Levis Commons business owners received a memo stating there will be more city of Perrysburg officers than usual patrolling the mall. Casey Pogan, of the Town Center at Levis Commons, said the officers will be there for crowd control and traffic concerns.

Parking will be available at Perrysburg High School, where concert-goers can catch a shuttle from the school to the venue.

Mr. Craig said organizers are hoping for 5,000 to 7,000 people Saturday night when the big-name performers hit the stage. He said possible bad weather could affect attendance, as could the fact that only one member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Layzie Bones, is scheduled to appear.

“With a large number of people, and selling alcohol, we are preparing to deal with additional concerns and making businesses in the area aware of the event and prepare any way fit,” said James Rose, deputy chief. “I was told by an event promoter there could be 10,000 to 12,000 people with over 50 rap bands.”

Saturday’s show includes several hip-hop performers from the Toledo area taking stages for 15 to 20 minutes, helping add up the number of performers. The headliners will start later in the evening Saturday.

Friday’s festival will look like past festivals each August at the center. It will feature children’s areas, and Mexican and American music from local groups.

Friday’s events also will be similar to festivals in years past with free admission from 5 p.m. on. Bands and food vendors will be on site The $7 kids’ zone includes seven inflatable bouncy-house type activities.

Saturday’s hip-hop portion of the festival will be from noon to 11 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $20 being sold at Revolver on State Rt. 25, or $30 at the gate Saturday.

Mr. Craig is hoping for $50,000 to $60,000 in revenue for the community center, which would just about equal the center’s operation costs for a year.

Friday’s performers will include Paragon, Grupo Dezeo, Xplozivo, and Los Hermanos Villegas. Mr. Craig is hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people to visit. Food vendors, who will be at the festival all weekend, will feature American barbecue and Latino food choices. The festival has an alcohol permit.

“Seriously this could be epic for the neighborhood,” Mr. Craig said about having big-name performers there. “People comment about this neighborhood and think of stabbings or [thefts], but drive through the neighborhood and you’ll see it is a normal neighborhood. We are Perrysburg.”

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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