The Evans Family planned a birthday party at a Kansas City waterpark Saturday. However, when they arrived the pool managers refused to let them inside and told them the party was canceled. According to Fox 2 Now, the family believes they were not allowed in the park because of racial discrimination.
Teens Noah and Isaiah Evans saved up $2,000 to host their birthday party with their friends at Summit Waves, according to KSHB 41 News. The waterpark directors told the teens, their family and guests upon arrival they were ‘uncomfortable’ with hosting the gathering. Chris Evans, the teens’ father, took that as the directors being uncomfortable with a large group of Black folks and filed his complaint to the Lee’s Summit city officials.
A group of protestors gathered outside the gates of the park Monday in opposition to how this situation was handled.
More about the situation from Fox 2 Now:
Protestors said they didn’t know the Evans family personally, but they’d read social media posts indicating the family had a signed contract, permitting as many as 250 teenagers to attend.
However, a statement from the City of Lee’s Summit indicated the family had advertised the party on social media, leading around 500 people to show up for Saturday’s soiree, which is around twice the number they’d agreed to.
“That’s how I feel — that they were judged by the color of their skin, and that these are African-American teenagers and she may have felt uncomfortable, but if they paid and signed a contract, then, they should have been allowed to come in,” said Sarah Washington, a protestor.
Ivan Nugent, the Evans family attorney, told FOX4 on Monday said so far, the family hasn’t received a refund or an apology.
The park directors could’ve simply stated up front that the family’s guests had exceeded their original headcount. Though, in a TikTok video of the incident, the number of people actually looked smaller than their initial 250 guest list anyway.
The main question is: what is there to be uncomfortable of? That comment implies something beyond crowd control concerns. Chris Evans told KSHB 41 News the park director told the family their event “didn’t represent Summit Waves.” How? It’s just a birthday party.
Both Noah and Isaiah were disappointed with the outcome. “I was hoping to have fun with my friends before we start school again, to end the summer,” Noah Evans said to KSHB 41 News. The teens’ mother, LeyShon, said Isaiah teared up from embarrassment.
The city plans to fully refund the family and the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department said there will be a full investigation, reports say.