Parents fume at park party-poopers

Is the Tel Aviv municipality really going to prevent parents from holding birthday parties for their children in public parks?

Parents in upmarket Ramat Aviv Gimmel are furious that the city has decided to prohibit the holding of private parties in a public park in their neighborhood, reports The parents say it is outrageous that they can no longer hold children's birthday parties in the afternoons in the garden in Rehov Barzani, saying that such parties are not particularly large or loud and do not disturb nearby residents. According to the report, in recent years there has been a growing phenomenon in Israel of parents organizing children's birthday parties in public parks and gardens. The parents put out tables and chairs, decorate the area with balloons and streamers, provide snacks for the invited children and, in many cases, hire clowns or other entertainers to keep the children happy. But parents in Ramat Aviv Gimmel were astonished recently to see that an official sign, topped with the city's logo, had been placed in their local garden stating that there was a "complete prohibition" on private events being held there. One mother said she had lived in the neighborhood for nine years and held a birthday party for her daughter every year in the garden, as did many other parents. "We are not speaking about grandiose events with a volume that disturbs anyone. Why create public gardens if they prevent us from holding events in them?" she said. Another mother said the sign had "really angered" parents, who paid taxes to the city in order to have a public garden and were entitled to enjoy it as they wished. A municipal spokesman responded that private functions were indeed prohibited in public parks and gardens, but the city did not intend to act against small events such as children's birthday parties unless there were specific complaints of noise and disturbances.