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Community leaders organize pop-up youth events following chaos at Arden Fair Mall

Leaders were passing out flyers Wednesday night at Arden Fair Mall, hoping to talk to some youth. The events will be free and include free food, prizes, and surprises for the kids.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Community leaders were passing out flyers Wednesday night at Arden Fair Mall, hoping to talk to some youth about organizing pop up events aimed at curbing violence following last week's chaos that shut down the mall twice.

On two occasions during the holidays, large fights among teenagers shut down the mall, prompting city officials to call for the privately-owned mall to temporarily restrict access to minors.

"It may be necessary to at least temporarily require that people under 18 be accompanied by a parent or guardian when visiting," Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a statement.

Community leaders are hosting pop-up style events Friday and Saturday to give teenagers somewhere to go during school break.

Berry Accius, the founder of Voices of Youth, says there's a need for a place for kids to go to.

"Everything is about alternatives," Accius said. "You guys want some activities, let's give you activities. What we're gonna do is put a pop-up in Meadowview. A pop-up in Oak Park. A pop-up in Stockton boulevard."

The events are Friday and Saturday starting at 3 p.m. in different locations of Sacramento, including Oak Park and South Sacramento. The events will be free and include free food, prizes, and surprises for the kids.

"There's a lot of young people here who don't want trouble," Accius said. "A lot of spectators, a lot of young people who want to be a part of framing what happened at the mall. Just getting likes, to share it — they wanna go viral."

Derrell Roberts with the Roberts Family Development Center said he wants to see more places open up for kids when they're out of school on break. He said there aren't many options and more funding is needed.

Roberts started a petition hoping to get enough signatures for money from the city's budget to go toward a Sacramento children's fund.

The money will help with mentoring and job training among other things.

RELATED: Rule of banning unaccompanied minors could return to Arden Fair Mall after post-Christmas brawls

One of the events Friday, Late Night Hoops and Talent Show, is being organized by the Simmons Community Center. It will start at 6 p.m. and be held at 25 Massie Court.

Another event on Saturday will be organized by the Voice of the Youth. It's a community makeover popup and will be held at 4625 44th St. at 6 p.m.

A news conference will be held on the community pop-up events Thursday at 3 p.m. Funding will be announced at the joint press conference with Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Sierra Health Foundation Leadership, and Community Organization Leadership.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Ananda Rochita.

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