WEST FRIENDSHIP, Md. - Authorities in Howard County say Asian food festival event organizers allowed attendance to go over capacity causing traffic nightmares over the weekend.
The Asia Collective Night Market was held at the Howard County Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon. The event showcased Asian cuisine from dozens of venders
Police say the organizers allowed the attendance to be "far over capacity" and that the venue and surrounding roadways couldn’t handle the volume of traffic.
"The organizer was understaffed and arranged ineffective parking coordination, which created gridlock in the parking lot and surrounding area," said Sherry Llewellyn, Director of Public Affairs with the Howard County Police Department. "Police did everything possible to handle the traffic, but there were simply too many vehicles for the roadways to handle."
Llewellyn said that this was the first time the event was held in Howard County and she did not expect it to be held there again.
The Asia Collective Night Market posted the following statement to Instagram Sunday:
"First of all, we would like to thank every single person who made the event possible.
I was incredible seeing families and friends enjoying the night, either by trying new Asian cuisines or witnessing so many talented and unique artists and performers. We are so moved that many many individuals decided to visit our night market.
However, due to unexpected sheer volume of individuals who did not have tickets driving to the fairground, our top priority immediately shifted to reducing traffic wait times. So, we decided not to check parking tickets at the parking lot.
Despite hard work from the police and our staff, we were overwhelmed. We had difficulties executing parking plans and check-in efficiently. We are sincerely sorry to those who were unable to come to our event, due to traffic. Our mission remains – we strive to create a community celebrating AAPI heritage and Asian cuisines."