In anticipation of Drag Queen Story Hour Saturday, the city has placed parade barricades on the plaza in front of the Ben May Memorial branch of the Mobile Public Library at the request of the Mobile Police Department, a library spokeswoman confirmed.
Amber Guy, a spokeswoman with the Mobile Public Library, said the police asked the barricades to be placed on the plaza to help control a possibly large crowd at the Drag Queen Story Hour at noon.
Groups have planned counterprotests of the event at which a local drag queen will read books and teach activities in one of the library’s meeting rooms. Sponsored by Rainbow Mobile, the event has been the source of weeks of debate, with opponents questioning whether it should be held at a public facility.
Rainbow Mobile Executive Director Bryan Fuenmayor has said the event is meant to help expose children to someone who is different.
He said those who are speaking out against are the ones who are “confused.” The event will feature performer Khloe Kash reading two books and engaging the children, 3 to 8, in an arts and crafts activity.
The first book, called “Stella Brings the Family,” is about a girl who brings her two dads to a Mother’s Day event at school. The second reading will be from the book “Rainbow Fish.”
Guy said it’s not unusual for the city to place barricades in the plaza for some of the library’s bigger events. City spokeswoman Laura Byrne did not immediately return a call seeking comment about other security measures being taken for the event.