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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

Buck

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

Why not embrace Freaknik and make it a win/win situation. Organize events, job fairs, and welcolm the students as we do SEC partiers, March Madness participents, etc. This is a potential mega revenue addition to our city but it must be orgaized, as is Gay Pride, King Day celebration, etc. Remember, these kids are not coming here empty handed, they’re bringing major revenue to hospitality industry, resturants, events, etc(if we can provide events/entertainment). Our biggest concern should be our own home grown thugs and hoodlums, so thats an issue that only seems to come to light during Freaknik.

Christopher

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

While Freaknik was in fact a blight on our great city, this poll is a shameful excuse for anonymous Atlantans to espouse thinly shrouded racial slander. Please close this comments section. This has become highly offensive.

And honestly, Jamie Gumbrecht, you knew this would happen. Why would you do this?

Buckhead Resident

February 25th, 2010
9:20 am

Looting, public lewdness and rapes were not caused by road blocks. Folks.. we cannot blame the City of Atlanta government for problems with Freaknik. Atlanta is not a resort town… people need to be able to get to work… not sit in traffic. Freaknik is not fair to the residents of the city. Please remember the 2003 NBA All Star Game… students are no the only folks that paralyze the city.

TRUTH

February 25th, 2010
9:20 am

DAWGS75, really? If I made any silly statement, yours takes the cake. Ft. Lauderdale is the size of Dunwoody, at BEST!! There PD is maybe a third of the APD, in manpower. As for the city of Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona, or heck, Ft. Myers, PCB, are more apt to handle the ENORMOUS crowds of kids better than Atlanta, then we are in one hell of a predictament. Swing and a miss…..

T.C

February 25th, 2010
9:20 am

Hell to the no,it seems this city will choose money thats generated from all the hell raisers over crime.Most of these people who came to this activity was not even students.So lets just keep it real,most came for sexual pleasure and to sell or buy drugs.Im blacker than the blackest black man and hated freaknik.

Lets be honest

February 25th, 2010
9:18 am

TRUTH –

THERES A DOUBLE STANDARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH.

EMMA

February 25th, 2010
9:18 am

**A** It seems like you are still mad that Obama won because we are taliking about Freaknic coming back to the city not Obama!!!! But I understand your pain. You needed an outlet!!!! LOL and I understand your pain, I was mad when Reagon won, Bush SR won, Clinton won, Bush Jr, won and if I could re-elect anyone of them again it would be Killa “Bush Jr” in the end I really liked him becuase he didn’t give a f#%k what the people wanted he did what he wanted to do and couldn’t even be mad he did the doggone thing. LOLOLOLOLOL

Now, I don’t know where YOU live but I live in the city and I still say HELL NOOOOOOO to bringing the event back because it causes toooooo many problems. It’s an event of the past.

PLEASE NO!!

February 25th, 2010
9:18 am

Truth,

You don’t have a clue but nice try. If you know anything about the history of Freaknik is that the main issue is it brings zero revenue to this city. That was always the major complaint from business owners is that the only businesses that benifited were the fast food chains. No hotels, no restuarants, no shopping. Another point you’re missing is that spring break in Cancun or Ft. Lauderdale where the “white people” go don’t shoot each other, don’t rob and steal etc. That’s the big difference here. I’m not saying that the college kids attending Freaknik will be the ones doing this but you’re talking about Atlanta. Ghetto capital of the world! There’s going to be more no good thugs and gangsters attending this than college kids. And they will be the ones causing all the trouble.

Bring it BACK!!

February 25th, 2010
9:17 am

STOP HATEING , IT WAS FUN, AND I AM WHITE!!

TRUTH

February 25th, 2010
9:16 am

@ Dee, no my dear, you and the rest who claim that, are in denial. If it where not these kids, it would be supported. This town would roll out the red carpet for it. You may be very sincere, but read the tone of the statements on this blog thus far. Need any more evidence?