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Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday she is planning to scale back the city's African American festival after a 40-year run that drew hundreds of thousands many years to Baltimore.

Pugh said the festival, which in years past featured hundreds of vendors and musical acts such as Salt-N-Pepa and Slick Rick, had grown too expensive. She said she wanted to hold a smaller event at Druid Hill Park this year. Last year, thousands attended the event held at the parking lots between the Ravens and Orioles stadiums.

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The mayor declined to provide additional details about this year's event, but said more information would be announced soon.

"It's coming back," Pugh said of the festival. "I love all the festivals that we celebrate throughout the city. The city put a lot of resources into the African-American festival. The city can't afford to do that.

"A two-day event just got to be too expensive for the city. It is an important festival for us. We do have volunteers who will work on making sure the festival takes place."

Baltimore-based greiBO Entertainment was paid $535,000 last year in consulting fees to help operate the festival. The company says on its website that it helped grow the event from an attendance of 20,000 to 200,000, resulting in an economic impact of $20 million.

Shelonda Stokes, the CEO of greiBO, did not respond to a request for comment.

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