LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some people living near Churchill Downs say they feel let down after a permit for an annual party was denied.

Charles Green and Sharetta Lee have organized a block party with their neighbors on Heywood Avenue for the past ten years.

“This is our way of having fun, you know,” Green. said “We created our own Derby fun out here.”

They said it’s a fun, safe event open to everyone. Neighbors set up tents for food, music and dancing up the entire block. They expect hundreds of partiers every year, especially after everyone starts leaving the track.

Lee said she was working with Metro Council and LMPD Division 4 to secure the proper permit, which she said she has received for ten years. Lee said she was under the impression everything was fine, but she got a call Tuesday saying the permit was denied.

“And she couldn’t state to me why,” Lee said. “And I was just so disappointed about that.”

A spokesperson for Churchill Downs said he did not know that a permit was denied for the Heywood block party, and he said that it would be up to the city to provide a reason why it was denied.

Neighbors are now signing a petition requesting the city approve the permit for a party they describe as a south Louisville tradition.

“This is my version of celebrating Derby, and I don’t think I want to stop,” Green said.

Green is concerned for another change this year made by Churchill Downs. A fence was put up along Central Avenue to route pedestrians around to two different entry points. Green said that hinders people from coming across the street and up the alley to their block party.

“The people can’t even get to my neighborhood no more, because they just took a fence and ran it straight across,” Green said. “But that’s the track. They can do what they want to do.”

A spokesperson for Churchill Downs said the fences were put up this year as a safety precaution to protect pedestrians and create a better traffic flow.

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