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POLL: Do you want Freaknik back in Atlanta?

20-FREAK PARTY_50668 (Small)

Freaknikers from Southern Illinois University danced around Five Points in downtown Atlanta in 1996. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he doesn't expect the party to return to Atlanta.

That illustrious, verifiable source we know as The Internet says that Freaknic (sic) is coming back. “The Official Atlanta Freaknic Site” says it’ll be April 16-18 in Washington Park. It also says that the 2010 theme is “Super Freak,” and that “Freaknic is a private event for members only. You must register on this site and pledge to not break the law.” It adds, “There are no nude pictures on this Web site.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says no way. Or rather, “I don’t believe it will materialize and it’s not my intention for the city to be supportive of it.” He points out that nobody has filed for a permit. It’s not clear who the organizers of the Web site are.

Do you want Freaknik to return to Atlanta?

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Freaknik started in the 1980s as a picnic for college kids who couldn’t travel during spring break, but by the mid-1990s, it was a street party that drew about 200,000 students, mostly from historically black college and universities. It was notorious for gridlock caused by cruising and wretched treatment of women. It ended in 1999 when the city imposed hard-core restrictions.

And yet, there are always rumbles of it coming back, and plenty who had great experiences at Freaknik over the years.

An AJC story quoted Councilman Ivory Young as saying “Freaknik as it was previously defined can’t work for Atlanta,” but he made the point, too, that the city should be prepared for “any crowd of folks,” who want to stay in town and spend some money.

What do you think? Would you welcome Freaknik back? Should the city? Can Freaknik make a comeback as a safe party for all, and without traffic mayhem, or should it stay a thing of the past?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, but before you type, remember that this is not a place for stereotypes, race-baiting or epithets. Keep the conversation respectful, or your comments will be removed.

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Former Freakniker

February 25th, 2010
6:27 pm

I would love for FREAK NIK to return to Atlanta, If New Orleans can contain Mardi Gras year after year then Atlanta officials can get off of their butts and make this a money making event like wise. I honestly feel that if it was geared towards white students the city would make all sort of attempts to make sure it was here yearly if not twice a year. Atlanta (Mayors Office) don’t keep committing on what could happen, talk about what should happen and make the city some money. Maybe you guys could finally get this sewage thing paid for with the much needed revenue the city would generate.

Nick G

February 25th, 2010
6:00 pm

I’m white. When I was in high school the place to go for Spring Break was Fort Lauderdale. It was a 90% white crowd that jammed the streets, ruined hotel rooms, walked around drunk and made life miserable for locals. The city of Fort Lauderdale decided they did not want it anymore. The residents of Fort Lauderdale were mostly white. They made spring break completely impossible. Most people started going to Daytona Beach or Panama City, Florida, instead.

Atlanta did the same thing with Freaknik. Many kids who would now go to Freaknik in Atlanta go to Daytona Beach, Florida.

I think that the same rationale was behind both cities. They got sick of hundreds of thousands of college kids running around their towns. Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. It’s really just about that.

Glitzerie

February 25th, 2010
5:33 pm

Freaknik will be great! Bring it! Panama Beach Florida and others have spring bling have it here in atlanta for our black colleges… Awesome! ;^)

BigSapelo

February 25th, 2010
5:09 pm

Grad Student said “The only reason why Freaknic is not supported is because of the audience.”

WTH? You saying that Freaknic audiences are the only people who ever act like that? You is a racist!