ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A ball planned for the first Black mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, has been canceled amid concerns its circus theme was inappropriate in the once-segregated city. The Junior League of St. Petersburg has thrown such balls since 2006. But the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday that it scrapped the event after Mayor-elect Ken Welch declined to attend. The theme of the ball was “Under the Big Top” with promotional materials featuring a circus tent and a black pelican with a top hat. Black community leaders pointed out that Blacks were once barred from attending the circus in St. Petersburg. Welch, who takes office Jan. 6, called it a teachable moment for racial inclusion.
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