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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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85 comments Add your comment

Proud American

February 25th, 2010
8:49 am

NO NO NO ! You hear all the Obozo’s using the race card every time some one sneeze’s, if we want equality, we must stop being afraid to see the NAACP, THE Black Caucus, all these so called civil rights leaders for what they are HATE MONGERS that spew hate toward the white race. It would be interesting to see the reactions if some one proposed an all white event downtown. Lets wake up its reverse racism and segregation. To be equal we must walk amongst all people.

Negro Nelson

February 25th, 2010
8:48 am

Why do I have a feeling that 98% of the posters on this article are going to be white. And why did a white girl post this article? To start a racial storm?

Buckhead Resident

February 25th, 2010
8:48 am

Please no… PLEASE NO… defecating, urinating, or vomiting in the bushes of our city. During the Freaknik boom of the 90’s too many bad elements joined the party and spoiled the fun for the students. The City of Atlanta is already short on police officers and cannot handle the traffic and crime that seems to come along with this event. It’s not fair to residents of the city that are affected.

Erin C

February 25th, 2010
8:48 am

Hey STW – you must be one of the bright graduates from Atlanta city schools…”you already have 5 comments and the vote is 3-1 against.” Anyone else see the problem here??

Andy

February 25th, 2010
8:47 am

I hope not and here’s why: There never was a central venue for all the kids which meant that they ended up in the streets trying to have fun when everyone else was just trying to have a life. Who cares what music they listen to really as long as it conforms to noise ordinances? Chopin or Bach at 300Db would make me mad just as much as anything else. Risky behaviors ? No problem as its self limiting in the long run… Hookups these days can be lethal.

David Duke

February 25th, 2010
8:47 am

Like Lil Kim said, “Want a cheap trick? Better go down to freaknik!”

Col. Reb

February 25th, 2010
8:46 am

Are you FREAKIN’ kidding me?

EMMA

February 25th, 2010
8:45 am

*Eric* What does Obama have to do with Freaknic? Absolutley NOTHING!!!!!!!!
*David Duke* Said it best Hell No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let bygones be bygones!!!!!

David Duke

February 25th, 2010
8:45 am

Freaknik was not a revenue generating event for the city. It costs tax payers millions and was full of loitering and crime. Those people didn’t spend any money.

itpdude

February 25th, 2010
8:44 am

I’m a white guy who went through Freaknik in 1997 or so. Freaknik was not bad if you avoided where the Freaknikkers were but when Mayor Campbell, and I believe Gov. Miller, closed interstate exits. . . . that irked me in a bad way. I LIVE and LIVED in the city and I could not use my exit. Instead, I was stuck on 85/75 with a parked party for about 3.5 hours. I didn’t so much blame Freaknik as I did the horrible handling of it by the city and state. We were told the exits would not be closed and then they were closed and I was stuck with a bunch of idiots on a federal interstate.

It was horribly handled by Mayor Campbell and probably Gov. Miller. If the authorities would have contained the party instead of locking everything down, thus, hurting residents, Freaknik would have been less of a bother. But again, local and state leadership did everything they could to mess things up for everyone.