Latino Festival Cancelled Following Tibbetts’ Death

PERRY, Iowa--  The immigration status of the man charged with killing Mollie Tibbetts is increasing fears across the entire Iowa immigrant community and now that unrest has caused the cancellation of a heritage festival.

"Hispanic United for Perry" was supposed to be held this weekend but was cancelled Friday.  A similar festival in Iowa City has also been canceled.

"We felt that it was not the right time for a community celebration," HUP organizer Jon  Wolseth said.  He says the debate over  immigration policies caused the organization to postpone the festival.

HUP was unable to say whether threats to the organization or a concern for safety led to the decision.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a pro-immigration organization says this case has sparked an anti-immigration narrative.  In response to cancelling the festival, a United Rally will be held in Perry instead.

“The message of the rally is the title of the rally peace, love and unity,” Organizer TJ Maylum said. “This is a tight knit community and our neighbors are blended, and when one neighbor is hurting it really does hurt us all".

The rally starts at noon at the Josh Davis Plaza, organizers say it’ll happen rain or shine.

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