Bronx community board puts the brakes on annual church festival

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A Bronx community board is putting the brakes on the St. Theresa Italian American Family Feast after incidents of violence have plagued the celebration over recent years.

For decades, St. Theresa Italian American Family Feast has been a staple in the Bronx community, bringing families and food together. But residents say the event has been anything but fun in recent years.

Cellphone video from last year's event recorded a huge disturbance breaking out on Westchester and Burhe avenues. Several cars and businesses sustained property damage during the ruckus.

In a statement, the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church tells News 12 in part:

“While we are disappointed in the community board’s decision, we understand its concern for safety. Since the feast has been a great financial help to our parish, We will now investigate other possibilities to help us support our programs which are so important to the members of our church and of our community.”

Community Board 10 says its decision to deny the application is the first time it has made this type of recommendation for a street activity permit, adding in part:

"Our opinion is advisory and we are one small step in the permitting process. Our board felt that, in light of incidents that have caught media and social media attention, support for the feast's permit was unwarranted at this time."

The feast has taken place for the past 23 years and could still happen this summer.

The mayor's office, in conjunction with the NYPD, is responsible in determining if a permit is approved.

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