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Updated: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:09:44 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rob Ford: Toronto mayor to host Ford Fest bash tonight



Despite complaints from his opponents, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists tonight's Ford Fest bash at a city park is not a campaign event. Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

Despite complaints from his opponents, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists tonight's Ford Fest bash at a city park is not a campaign event. Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

An east Toronto park will fill with Rob Ford supporters tonight for the Toronto mayor's annual Ford Fest bash.

But unlike previous editions, the 19th anniversary of the party will not feature any alcohol after organizers' liquor licence application was turned down.

Ford insists those who attend Friday night's barbecue at Thomson Memorial Park will enjoy the event even if they can't have a drink.

City officials approved a permit for the party despite concerns from Ford opponents that it's a campaign event that violates municipal rules banning politicking in public parks. More than 100 citizens have filed complaints about Ford Fest.

In the 2010 municipal election, the mayor declared the food and drink at Ford Fest as campaign expenses

City spokeswoman Jackie DeSouza told CBC News the mayor's office has been warned there can be no campaigning at Ford Fest.

"If anything happens that is in violation of the permit that was given for this event, [bylaw officers] can step in and enforce the permit," she said.

Ford Fest is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET.

Toronto voters go to the polls Oct. 27.

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