Union Square's post-influencer chaos: Cleanup efforts and fundraiser underway

On this sunny summer day, Union Square looks beautiful, but not as lovely as it did before thousands of influencer Kai Cenat's fans descended on it on Aug 4th. 

While most were peaceful teens looking for excitement on a Friday afternoon, there were dozens who were determined to cause mayhem, physical injuries, and damage. It required a huge cleanup effort says Julie Stein, President of the non-profit Union Square Partnership.

Union Square Partnership Executive Director Julie Stein says, "So the next day, we were making sure the District was open for business right away, so we had our very own clean team come out with a double crew, and they were working on cleaning the park and in particular power washing the paint that had fallen the day before."


'Beyond disappointed' - Kai Cenat speaks out after Union Square chaos

Speaking publicly for the first time since some of his followers jumped on cars and hurled bottles during the Aug. 4 mayhem, Cenat added, "None of that is cool, bro, you feel what I'm saying?"

Stein says the Partnership along with city agencies quickly repaired and replaced much of the landscaping and flowers that were damaged, but the job is not done. They're $55,000 short of what's needed to replace trampled rose bushes and other landscaping. So they've set up a donation page for the public. They also reached out to Kai Cenat in particular says Stein.

"We started a community fundraiser because community members were reaching out and asking how they could help. We also reached out to the influencer's team to ask him to contribute to the fundraiser, and we're hopeful that he will," Stein said.

Kai Cenat eventually apologized for the damage. The partnership reached out to his team to see if he might want to contribute. FOX 5 spoke with some parkgoers to gauge their reaction.

One visitor said,"He did influence most of it so it's kind of a thing that maybe he should take a little bit of responsibility."  

"Certainly we need to take care of it and make sure that it continues to be utilized in a great way," another added.

FOX 5 reached out to Kai Cenat's team to see if he had any reaction but did not get a reply. 

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