ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Organizers of an East Albany community event on Sunday want the neighborhood to know it had nothing to do with a large fight that broke out later in the same city park.
At least 8 Albany men were arrested or cited in connection with a fight at Heath Park on North Maple Sunday night.
But organizers said that it happened after the annual Fifth Ward Lakewood Community Event at the Park earlier Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds of kids attended the community gathering, where people came together for games, food and music.
Organizers said the event is held in memory of Cora Jean Wester McCray, who asked her family to continue the community celebration after her death.
But after the event ended around 8 p.m., police reported a large fight between several young males broke out.
Grandson Lawrence McCray got emotional Monday afternoon when he said he did not want the unrest to ruin the gathering.
"We do this out of the kindness of our heart every year. And every year it gets harder and harder for us to be able to do this because of these type of events," said Lawrence.
Albany Police said there was an extremely large gathering of men fighting in the park.
They arrested or cited three men for disorderly conduct and five others for violating the sagging pants ordinance.
McCray said they are hoping to be able to have police attend their community event next year, to insure there is no violence.