A father has accused a Kansas City water park of racism after it called off a pool party for his son when 500 people allegedly came and made staff feel ‘uncomfortable” according to FOX 4 KC.
Chris Evans says he signed a $2,000 contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee’s Summit for 250 people for his 17-year-old son’s birthday party on Saturday. However, employees said a crowd twice that size showed up.
At a news conference on earlier this week, Evans says his family was told “This event doesn’t represent Lee’s Summit Waves” and that his reservation was canceled after a park worker was “uncomfortable.”
A video of the argument with the Evans family and a park employee shows the family demanding an answer, with the employee not giving a clear response.
‘If this was a large group of white folks, there wouldn’t be a problem,’ a family member tells the employee, who shakes her head no as the park denies the claims.
Evans said, “I know you don’t know us, I just want to know why you’re uncomfortable with us.”
Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department, which operates the water park, released a statement issued an apologized to the Evans family because of miscommunication and missed processes that led to the cancellation.
The statement said in its investigation they found the department failed to arrange additional security for the party, which Evans paid for as part of his contract.
Parks officials said the family promoted the event on social media despite the contract stating this wouldn’t happen.
Park department officials said up to 500 people showed up in the parking lot for the party. The park only has a size capacity limit of 600.
However, Evans claimed the event was canceled before the teens arrived and there was “never anything close to 500 kids in the parking lot.”
“My kids were heartbroken that the party was canceled” he said. “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”
“It appears to have been canceled simply because the park staff was uncomfortable with a group of Black teenagers having a pool party to enjoy the end of the summer” Evans said during the press conference.