Providence Sex Trade Attempts to Block Cultural Family Festival

Providence, Rhode Island (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 22, 2008- With only a few days until the Puerto Rican Cultural Festival kicks off in Providence, organizers delivering the layout plans for the festival grounds were met by surprise opposition to their family oriented festival by the Providence Sex Trade led by Cheaters and other neighboring sex businesses owned or controlled by the Tapalian family. A hearing is set in City Hall for Tuesday at 7pm.

The festival is scheduled to begin on Friday at Providence Piers on Allens Avenue. Organizers already have temporary fences in place, carnival rides on site and three days worth of refreshments on location. They had secured a temporary city license to serve beer and wine, worked extensively with Police to set up an large paid police detail and private security. They rented the premises, paid an insurance binder, rented a stage, put deposits on bands and even arranged for certification of their own servers for a beer and wine garden. The commercials are already on the radio and publicity has begun.

Opponents of the festival were represented by David C. Tapalian, son of H. Charles Tapalian who owns or controls neighboring sex oriented businesses like Cheaters and others through corporations like Spur Track Properties, a limited partnership that does not list any officers. David C. Tapalian is on record as the registered agent.

Tapalian alleged that public safety was their main concern, and shot-gunned objections ranging from dust as an environmental health issue and concern to insufficient Police and then blocked fire hydrants and parking. As each concern was addressed in turn, opponents moved on to the next, finally settling on limited parking as their prime concern. A suggestion was even voiced that the festival raise the price of admission from $3 to cut attendance for the expected crowd of 2,500.

”We announced this early in June,” said organization President Carmen Bucholz. Why couldn’t they say something then? We have worked very hard with police, licensing, and have done everything possible to make this a safe event to benefit mutual understanding of our community and culture. Suddenly we need a hearing because the porno guys whose clients park on the street decide today that they have a problem with a wholesome family event? They want us to raise the price to keep people away?”

”WBRU radio had an event there last weekend and reported they had over 3,000 people on the same grounds, yet there were no complaints filed against them,” said Vivian Moreno, executive secretary of the organization. “From the type of music and the photos I’ve seen, that event attracted a non-ethnic out-of-neighborhood crowd. We live in the neighborhoods. This is our home. It seems there’s more prejudice against ethnic families here today than a concern for public safety. ”

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News Reporter addt’l info page is here:

Bob Cooper –, (401) 447-6474 Days/Eves
Vivian Moreno – (401) 639-5380 Days/Eves
Carmen Bucholz – (401) 861-7297

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