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.
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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