Fights force Berkley Days to close early for second year in a row; new rules for Sunday

The annual Berkley Days carnival in Berkley faced fight-related disturbances for the second year in a row, closing early Saturday and instituting new rules for Sunday, which also include an earlier closing time.

The carnival runs from Thursday to Sunday, featuring rides and games, food and beverages, a beer tent, races, live entertainment and more. However, fights broke out among attendees Saturday evening, leading officials to shut down the event several hours earlier than anticipated. Fox 2 (WJBK-TV) obtained video of the disturbance.

The Berkley Department of Public Safety announced the closure of the carnival for the rest of Saturday evening in a Facebook post at 7:59 p.m. Saturday night. The carnival was set to close at 11 p.m.

"On behalf of Berkley Public Safety and our greater community, we send our sincere thanks and appreciation to our mutual aid partners who came out to support us in keeping everyone safe tonight," said Matthew Koehn, Berkley's director of public safety. "Our focus now is closing out this year's event safely and strongly for Berkley's families."

The city then posted an update, setting new rules for Sunday to prevent more disturbances.

New Berkley Days rules for Sunday

  • Attendees ages 5-20 must buy a wristband in addition to the event's $3 entry fee.

  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian age 21 or older.

  • ID will be required at the event's entrance gate.

  • The carnival will close at 4 p.m. Sunday instead of its previously scheduled 6 p.m. end time.

Berkley Days saw fights in 2023, too

The carnival also saw disruptions amid fights in 2023, closing early Saturday and canceling all events on the final day.

Berkley Days has been an annual carnival in the metro Detroit community since 1926, beginning as a celebration of the Coolidge Highway.

Officials have not yet made a decision on the fate of the 2025 carnival.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Fights force Berkley Days to close for second year in a row