San Diego

‘Festival of Life' in National City Drawing Criticism

A six-night festival in National City is drawing criticism from some who are calling the organization behind the event a "hate group." 

The Festival of Life starts Sunday and runs until Oct. 6 at Kimball Park. A giant billboard off Highland Avenue in the city advertises the event will have $20,000 in giveaways.

But a group of community activists, which includes two National City council members and a council candidate, say the leader of the Revival Today, the organization behind the event, is anti-gay and anti-Muslim.

The group wants National City Mayor Ron Morrison to rescind what they view as his endorsement for the event.

"They potentially target poor cities and they target poor communities to get them to come because they're gonna pay their bills, they're gonna give them prizes and then they get them to convert to their religion," said Sandy Naranjo, a National City resident.

But Morrison said the organization has paid the city thousands of dollars to put on the event and added there is no evidence of it being a hate group.

"We've had other religious groups that have had services there, in Kimball Park, they've paid for their stuff, they give out their message and they do their whole thing, and there's never been a problem," Morrison said.

Revival Today is based in Florida. The organization did not return NBC 7's calls for comment.

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