Kansas City Park Under Investigation After Canceling Black Teenager’s Birthday Party

A park official claims she was “not comfortable” with the gathering, but denies racism was involved.

A park in Kansas City, Missouri is standing by a decision to cancel a Black teenager’s birthday party.

A viral video from TikTok shows Chris Evans, the teen’s father, talking to a park official at Summit Waves Aquatic Facility who said she was not comfortable with the birthday party. In the 29-second video, Evans asks why she is uncomfortable and a person in the background says “because we are Black.”

The park official is also accompanied by police officers.

The Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation released a statement. They claim the August 6 event was canceled because 500 teens attended the party, twice the number expected.

“This raised serious concerns about the safety of party guests and the possibility the event would grow beyond the capacity of staff,” the release stated, according to the Kansas City Star.

“After multiple attempts to reach the renter in advance of the event to discuss safety concerns, a connection was not made until the hours leading up to the event.”

The park did not respond to accusations of racism.

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Chris Evans said during an August 9 news conference with his attorneys that he signed a contract to reserve the Summit Waves Aquatic Facility, which would cost $1,900 for 250 guests and, for additional $200, up to 1,400 people. Evans also stated there was “never anything close to 500 kids in the parking lot” and that the park was sold out. He asked, “How did you count 500? How did you distinguish the guests intermixing?”

“My kids were heartbroken that the party was canceled,” Evans added. “They are good kids who make good grades, have bright futures and do not deserve to be treated like this. And that goes for all the kids at the park that day.”

On August 9, Lee’s Summit Mayor William Baird said the city’s Park and Recreation department should “re-evaluate their approach” and that there is currently an investigation over the incident.

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