Families upset festival planned at Mesa cemetery

Posted at 10:47 PM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 01:47:53-04

Some Mesa families are upset, after learning a fall festival event is set to take place at the cemetery where their loved ones are buried.

Management at Mountain View says they wanted to have a fun, safe environment for families and they hold events throughout the year.

As the sun sets at the cemetery, another day passes without a husband, grandmother, or for Sherry Coombe, her daughter.

“It's a place of reflection, remembrance and respect,” said Coombe.

That's why she doesn't want a holiday event held here, even starting a petition on  

“The cemetery is sad and it's not a happy place,” said Coombe. “You can have a circus here, you can give me a car and this is never going to be a happy place.”

The fall festival event will be held in a big open area on the grounds. Management said they will have security to make sure no graves are disrupted.

Terry Plaizier, whose husband's ashes are here, says she supports what the cemetery is doing.

“It's in a neutral place and it's in a common place,” said Plaizier. “It’s not within where our loved ones are and has nothing to do with their resting place.”

The event was originally planned as Halloween fun for children, with ‘trunk-or-treating,’ but management changed it to a Fall Festival after some people expressed concern and said they were offended.

“This is not about a Halloween scary time,” said Elisa Krcilek, with Mountain View Cemetery. “It's a more festive time to celebrate life and enjoy some time together as a family.”

The two women met Wednesday night and shared a hug, trying to work out the differences of how to make everyone comfortable, while they pay respect to those who are buried.

Coombe said she is still considering moving her daughter’s remains to a different cemetery.

Management said next year they will hold the event in November, and not associate it with Halloween at all.