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Levy County Commission to discuss possible return of Williston CrabFest

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:48 AM EDT
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WILLISTON, Fla. (WCJB) - Levy County Commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss a variety of topics including the possible return of the Williston CrabFest.

The Williston CrabFest started as a family gathering years ago and has since has morphed into a block party attracting thousands to Levy County every year. Many residents say the festival, not only brings seafood and visitors but violence to the area.

This comes after a shooting broke out back in 2013 which resulted in one dead and four injured. Since then, Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Scott Tummond said drug, alcohol, and gun violence has been prevalent requiring the agency to spend anywhere between ten to 30 thousand dollars to protect the area at the cost of Levy County taxpayers.

As part of the Williston Wants Peace Campaign, more than 60 property owners around CrabFest have stated they do not support going forward with the festival, according to campaign spokesperson Pastor Johnnie Jones. In a statement, he talks about the need for change.

“Over the years I have participated in the Williston CrabFest as a property owner, vendor, advocate, and participant. The opposition is not only from elected officials but from long-time residents and neighborhood leaders who believe that the safety and well-being of their fellow citizens is more important than a one-day festival staged for travelers who don’t care about the damage that they leave behind. I have stood in support of CrabFest for many years and worked to help make it safer after the 2013 shooting. We had to make changes then and it’s alright to pause and make necessary changes again,” said Pastor Jones.

RELATED ARTICLE: Deputies and organizers call the 2019 Crab Fest a success

Starting at 9 a.m., commissioners will discuss the CrabFest special events permit along with approval of April as Williston Wants Peace — No More Violence Month.

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