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ArtWalk vendor claims permit revoked because of snake

An ArtWalk vendor got a letter from the Arts Council of Kern informing her she is no longer welcome to participate. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

A former ArtWalk vendor recently got a letter from the Arts Council of Kern informing her she is no longer welcome to participate.

Patricia Castro said before she got this letter, she got emails form the ArtWalk Coordinator asking her not to bring her pet snake around because some people are afraid.

Castro said after that email she did not bring her snake, but other groups brought theirs.

The Arts Council claims Castro complained to an officer about them asking the other snakes to leave, since there is no law against having pet snakes out in public.

Castro disputes that.

The Art Council said although the letter only talks about the snake incident "this was the last issue that we dealt with after a string of issues that we had."

David Gordon, the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Kern said he will not give specifics of those issues "because they are between us and Patricia." He said "I value the privacy of those conversations and we did reach out and we did talk to her about those things."

He said the council can not control if people bring pets, including snakes, to First Friday, but they have asked them to move away from people who are afraid.

Castro said the other issues she could think of is that she had been late to paying the fee for her booth, but she claims she has always been in communication with the council.

The letter explaining why her permit is being revoked only details the snake incident.

"If there were other issues it should have been included in the reason why," she said.

Gordon said they do not take removing a vendor lightly, and this is the first time the organization has had to do this in the past four years.

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