LAS VEGAS (FOX5)--When Amistad Cristiana Church moved in to the corner of Ninth Street and Stewart Avenue back in 1941, they were on the outskirts of town.

Pastor Joel Menchaca said it’s still a relatively quiet area, until a big festival comes to town.

"This weekend our neighborhood is our biggest concern. We have a lot of elderly people in this area," the longtime pastor said.

In previous Life is Beautiful weekends, the church has had windows smashed and worries about the kids in the parish as festival attendees come and go.

"The main concern is at night," Menchaca said.

On Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  the church is holding a youth church event, and then there’s an early evening service Sunday. Menchaca said they move up the times to make sure they’re gone by the time the festival wraps up.

On the eve of the event, there was lots of bustle around the church with golf carts constantly flying by.

Menchaca said traffic and parking is another major issue. It often leaves no spots for the parishioners.

Church voices concers over safety ahead of Life is Beautiful.JPG

However, things have actually improved in recent years. In 2015 the church filed suit against the festival. Menchaca said the first year of Life is Beautiful they were blocked from the church so they had to cancel their weekend service.

Since then the festival moved the perimeter.

"We are aware this brings money to our city and that is good,” the pastor said. "But we need to find out how can we improve something like this so that the neighborhood can be a neighborhood and the area can still be secure.”

He said that should include adding more police on patrol.

After decades in the building, Menchaca said they are looking to sell the church in large part because of the downtown events.

Late Thursday, FOX5 reached out to Life is Beautiful about the security measures on the perimeter of the festival, but are still awaiting their response.

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(3) comments

One8

They are definitely right, people that live in the area have to walk blocks/miles just to get to work downtown from 9th and Stewart to freemont. The out of town security/workers are told to treat people walking through as hostels. They won't let anyone through. You have to walk to bonanza or Carson and walk around and back up. They yell and threaten people, case them... It's going to end up with a life being taken. People are armed and upset. It's really not good at all.

Ginger

I share the same feelings with the pastor. I work downtown and with the construction that has overwhelmed the city, driving, and parking are already a nightmare. Now add this pack of pinwheels coming to town and all the road closures for these fools, and it is impossible to move around. Put this stuff at Cashman Center, or out at the Speedway. Empty available space suited for these clowns. They may have money, but it primarily goes for drugs, and alcohol something there already is more than enough of downtown.

One8

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