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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

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

TRUTH

February 25th, 2010
9:31 am

I have things to do, but to “Please No”, get a grip. Did youread your own post. You give me the old nice try and then go to the heart of my point. Its a black thing. Black people are linked directly to crime. Thank you for your admittance. It’s not racial or bigoted at all. It is fact. Until you TRY to understand and lower your guard we, as a people, will remain polarized. It’s 3 days. It’s kids, and yes there are those that are there for their own agendas, be it positive or negative. If the city embraced it, then it would has the PD policing the problem, instead of classifying the entire event as a problem. You would find that the event itself is just kids partying. The criminal element would be contained. But when you have wholesale criminalization of it, then huge problems begin. As for it not creating revenue, the hotels and businesses that you speak of jack their rates up when Blacks show up. You cannot deny that. They charge plenty for students in the other cities I’ve mentioned, but nowhere to the degree they gouge black kids. Of course, you don’t or won’t see it that way. That’s understandable. But please believe that this could work in the positive if positive energies are placed behind it. This negativity is only because folks are basing their views on stereotypes.

Truth hurts.

BehindEnemyLines

February 25th, 2010
9:30 am

No thanks. No reason for the city to endure it just to remind me of the #1 reason I got the hell out of Atlanta.

reservoirDAWG

February 25th, 2010
9:30 am

Nope. We have enough crap in Atlanta.

ELVISINTHEHOUSE.

February 25th, 2010
9:29 am

I don’t agree with it because of crime not race.I bet most of the white commenters on this blog would’nt disagree if the KKK wanted to come to this city and march.You would probably welcome it with open arms and im white and hated what the kkk stood for.

BringItBack!

February 25th, 2010
9:29 am

Please please PLEASE bring it back, idiot mayor!

Sincerely,
The guy who owns all the Mrs. Winners, Popeyes, Zaxby’s, Bojangles, and KFCs.

Proud American

February 25th, 2010
9:27 am

” Imno ” the FBI does not want to be accused of racial profiling, thats why they choose not to put black people on the top ten list.

Harold W.

February 25th, 2010
9:26 am

@Buck

“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).”

–Wow…that old tired argument? I think we know from past experience and hard financial statistics that Freaknic was always a NET LOSS for the city. Most business took to closing for that weekend for fear of massive property damage and/or outright theft.

Cher

February 25th, 2010
9:24 am

Absolutely not. It is an embarrassment to the city of Atlanta.

Chris

February 25th, 2010
9:24 am

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Harold W.

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

@GradStudent said “Grad Student

“I was a high school senior at Redan High in 94… outkast was on the radio… freaknic was just about fun and hanging out and celebrating youth…”

–Really? I was a delivery driver for the Mellow Mushroom at Piedmont Park and was subjected to a non-stop onslaught of taunts and racial slurs…inside the restaurant our tip jar was stolen twice before we gave up and took it off the counter. If you call that fun you must have a different idea than most.

I say bring it back as a vivid reminder of what exactly is wrong with certain segments of our society.