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April 29, 2015

In Wake of Riots, Conferences Cancel, Postpone or Carry On

The riots in Baltimore Monday evening over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody caused the closure of major tourist attractions and the cancellation of events in the city.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, which had been closed April 28 due to the situation, reopened its doors at 9 am the morning of April 29, according to the attraction's Facebook page.

Meetings & Events

In the wake of Monday's riots, three upcoming conventions have backed out of the city, according to the Baltimore Business Journal

The article reports that the Door and Hardware Institute cancelled its ConNEXTions 2015 convention that would have been held at the Baltimore Convention Center April 29-May 1. The citywide convention was expected to bring more than 2,000 visitors to the city. The It's Time Network on Wednesday called off its 2015 summit that was planned for May 1-3 at the convention center, and the American Heart Association also cancelled a medical conference that was set for April 29-May 1 at the Hilton Baltimore. The AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, slated to run next week, has been postponed. No new dates have been announced.

The opening general session of the Food Safety Summit was packed to capacity.

But now that the violence has calmed down and Baltimore citizens are cleaning up the detritus, some events are going on as planned: The Food Safety Summit officially kicked off on Tuesday, releasing the following statement on the event homepage:

"We understand that you might have some concerns about your visit to the Summit in light of some news reports about unrest in the Baltimore area. We are working very closely with the Mayor’s Office, the Baltimore Convention Center and City Officials to monitor this situation closely. Safety is of course is a major priority for all of our guests, staff and visitors. Accordingly there is increased security at the Convention Center and all area hotels. We have been assured that our guests should feel comfortable coming to the event and that travel should not be affected." 

The Food Safety Summit's opening session was limited to standing-room only.

According to CNN, the situation was calmer the evening of April 28 following the imposition of a curfew 10 pm that evening. While 20 police officers were injured Monday night, six seriously, one officer was injured Tuesday evening. A confrontation between protestors and the police did not escalate into violence. 

A nightly curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will remain in place for the next week. 

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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox

About the Author: Adam Leposa





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