South Philly Carnival Bans Unaccompanied Minors

Plus, a battle over Lunchables in Philly schools.

This South Philly carnival has banned unaccompanied minors.

This South Philly carnival has banned unaccompanied minors. (Photo by Victor Fiorillo)

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South Philly Carnival Bans Unaccompanied Minors

When I was a tween and a teenager, I can’t remember the number of times that my friends and I got together on a weekend night to check out the local carnival when it came to town. Our parents would hand us some cash. We’d eat way too much junk food. Then we’d ride the Gravitron, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, and Ferris wheel until we ran out of tickets. (Or until we puked.) But that kind of outing is now being restricted at one South Philly carnival, which just banned unaccompanied minors.

The S.E.Y.A.A. Easter Carnival (S.E.Y.A.A. stands for Southeast Youth Athletic Association, a South Philadelphia-based non-profit) opened on Thursday at the intersection of 7th Street and Packer Avenue, just down the way from Citizens Bank Park, and runs through Saturday, April 15th. On Good Friday, we saw a bit too familiar of a scene. Around 7:30 p.m., the Philadelphia Police Department responded to a call about a group of disorderly teens that reportedly numbered in the hundreds, in and around the carnival area. Organizers shut down the carnival and police were eventually able to disperse the crowd. No official word on any arrests or injuries.

It didn’t take long for the Chester County-based company behind the South Philly carnival to enact new security measures. Just before 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Houghton Enterprises, Inc. took to social media with the following announcement (I’m leaving out all the red siren lights):

Under the age of 18 WILL NOT be permitted to enter the carnival without a guardian and/or proper I.D. For your SAFETY we have increased the amount of Philadelphia Police and the Private Security for the duration of the event. We are here until Saturday April 15th. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE AGAIN!!!

The post didn’t specifically allude to the South Philadelphia incident. And we haven’t been able to reach organizers to talk about Friday’s events. The language in the their post was a bit unclear, but signage I saw at the carnival on Monday morning is certain: No unaccompanied minors. And any parents or guardians accompanying minors must have photo identification.

The South Philadelphia carnival mess comes on the heels of an incident last week involving the Philadelphia Police Department and hundreds of teens on Market Street outside the Fashion District, an incident that led management to ban all unaccompanied minors after 2 p.m.

Political Movements

About a month ago, I interviewed a local political insider about the race for mayor. He wondered if mayoral candidate Maria Quiñones Sánchez would have enough money to see her campaign through to the primary in May. Turns out his suspicions were prescient. Sanchez has pulled out of the race, lamenting to the Inquirer about the “obnoxious, obscene amount of money” at play in the battle. That leaves a field of seven viable Democratic candidates, assuming you count Amen Brown as viable. I personally do not.

And just who is donating all of this money to the mayoral candidates? A new report finds that more than half of the money donated this time around comes from outside of the city. This isn’t all that uncommon: In 2021, when Larry Krasner was up for reelection, I found that nearly three-quarters of his contributions came from beyond our city borders.

What’s for Lunch?

There’s a battle brewing over whether the Philadelphia School District should offer Philly school kids Lunchables for lunch after the National School Lunch Program recently approved the kinda-gross prepackaged meals made by Oscar Mayer. Me? I’m on Team Healthy Lunch. And Lunchables aren’t exactly the healthiest dining option. Though they do provide a convenient, familiar option, especially when whatever fresh food the district is serving in its cafeterias is grosser, as one student explains to WHYY.

Speaking of Food…

ICYMI, my colleagues at Foobooz came up with this smart guide on how to handle tipping at takeout. And should you be headed to Pakistan anytime soon, I have good news for you. There are cheesesteaks in Pakistan!

By the Numbers

8,000: Jobs available to Philadelphia kids this summer through the Philadelphia Youth Network.

4: Philadelphia schools found to contain asbestos in recent weeks.

86: Forecasted high in Philadelphia this week.

70: Forecasted high this week in Cape May. (Takes them a while to catch up.)

100 percent: Chances I will call out sick the first day beach temperatures hit 78. My magic number. Well, assuming the wind is coming off of the ocean instead of off the bay because: biting flies.

Philly Sports Desk contributor Sandy Hingston is on break this week. And, therefore, so is the Sports Desk.