'After Chill' Violence Leads Town to End Annual Apple Chill Fair

For 35 years, the town-sponsored street fair known as Apple Chill brought artists, musicians and thousands of patrons to Franklin Street each year. A few hours after this year’s event ended Sunday, during an unsanctioned event known as “After Chill,” three people were shot, and the Chapel Hill Town Council voted Monday night to end the annual gathering.

“Yesterday was the last Apple Chill,” Mayor Kevin Foy said in a statement.

“We had a public process to try and deal with Apple Chill-related issues in the past; it didn’t work,” Foy’s statement noted. “We made adjustments; they didn’t work. We had 230 officers; that’s as much security as we can provide.

“The council’s first responsibility to the citizens is public safety,” Foy said. “We cannot continue to be confident that Apple Chill can be conducted in a way that is safe for citizens.”

Violence in recent years led to the sharp increase in police officers being assigned to cover Sunday’s event, which was attended by an estimated 30,000 people.

But at about 8:40 p.m. in the 100 block of West Franklin Street near Caribou Coffee, two men were shot. Both were taken to UNC Hospitals, according to news reports. A third man was found shot during a later traffic stop, reports said, and he reportedly refused treatment.

The News & Observer reported that police said the first two men who were shot were members of a Durham gang called the 9-Trey Bloods.

The N&O also reported that Foy received more than 100 e-mail messages about the fair. Numerous letters from townspeople published in Wednesday’s edition of The Chapel Hill News called for ending the fair. “The town is not the same as it was 35 years ago,” Foy said in an N&O report. “As the town grows, as the region grows, we have to be willing to change.”

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