A group’s drag queen storytelling event for children at Wadsworth’s Memorial Park in Ohio was marred by violence on Saturday. Hundreds of protesters, including white supremacists and LGBT community supporters, descended on the park, resulting in two arrests for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The arrests followed a series of melees involving pepper spray, a flag pole used as a weapon, and a protester who unnerved witnesses by pointing what was thought to be a gun at the crowd. Police have since confirmed that the weapon was designed to shoot pepper spray and not bullets. Despite the violence, the “Rock-n-Roll Humanist Drag Queen Story Hour” event did proceed as planned and was permitted by the city. However, the situation remained volatile throughout the four-hour event, with neo-Nazis yelling racial slurs from behind metal barricades and attendees, including parents and children, being followed by protesters into and out of the event, according to the Beacon Journal. [tweet_embed]March 14, 2023[/tweet_embed] Protesters vastly outnumbered supporters, and white supremacist and white nationalist groups, with the Beacon Journal reporting at least one participant wearing a Proud Boys hoodie, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at onlookers and others. One person who attended the event to protest the age appropriateness of people in drag reading to children said he was "shocked" to hear what white supremacists were saying. In response to the violence, the Wadsworth Police Department deployed officers from various neighboring areas to patrol and secure the event. The police chief said they lost track of the crowd count at around 200 people, with vehicles bearing out-of-state license plates. Paramedics across the region were also on hand, treating two people with non-violence-related injuries. Although the organizer of the drag show had obtained a permit to present the show, the event had been controversial from the start. Wadsworth City Council President Bob Thurber said that it had been promoted in a manner harmful to the city. A Wadsworth resident, Aaron Reed, promoted the event in the public space after a private venue declined to host it. Initially, the event had been criticized on Facebook and in media accounts largely because it had been promoted for children. Others supported the idea of an event designed for children and parents. White supremacist and white nationalist groups have descended on and disrupted Drag Queen Story Hour events across the United States, including in Boston and Colorado. In December, White Lives Matter Ohio and others celebrated the cancellation of a show outside a public library in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus with neo-Nazi slogans and gestures. The violence at the Wadsworth event signals that the conflict between the two factions is a ticking timebomb that can potentially explode into more significant physical confrontations.