Bessie Smith Strut Was A Success

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The Bessie Smith Cultural Center (in partnership with Friends of the Festival) wishes to thank everyone for participating in the 2013 Strut.  More than 8,000 people attended which represents an increase over last year’s 5,073.  

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center began managing the Strut in 2012. Whereas we would love to have a free activity, the first concern is the safety of all visitors, residents, family, friends and merchants who participate.

Safety in public arenas remains a local and national priority. Organizers work closely with the Chattanooga Police Department to ensure and adhere to a plan that supports this goal. Changes in admission policy, including restricting admission of unsupervised youth, and utilizing temporary fencing enhances the ability of law enforcement and specialized security to ensure safety and or to respond to a critical need should it arise. As a result, there have been no safety incidents or arrests for two consecutive years.

The addition of the fence and small admission fee in no way impacted the number of approved vendors participating in this year’s Strut. All vendors adhere to an application and approval process, which was not the case prior to the 2012. There were more than enough vendors (with a variety of food options) to adequately serve all participants. To date, all vendors who have communicated with organizers offered positive responses and or outcomes.   Additionally, several vendors expressed an increase in sales compared to previous years when the event was free.

Beyond the stated changes, the 2013 Bessie Smith Strut enhancements included two additional recognized blues performers and an extended ending time. The celebration continues to represent the blues, the food and the culture of Martin Luther King Boulevard. We thank the diverse array of participants who willingly paid the modest admission fee and welcome you and others to next year’s activities as we celebrate this important Chattanooga cultural tradition!

Rose M. Martin, President

Bessie Smith Cultural Center



A "Pleasant" Towing Experience Downtown

I had a pleasant experience today. I met a friend of mine today for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings downtown which whom I had not seen in a long time. I also walked out to discover that my 2013 Ford was missing.  Vehicles were being towed in volumes. I asked one of the tow truck drivers about it and he said they towed it (from the lot next door) to Carter Towing at 1619 Dodds ... (click for more)

PILOT Questions

Dear Hamilton County Commissioners,  I hope you doing well.  My purpose in writing this letter is to ask a couple of questions regarding PILOT property tax exemptions.   I have a few comments and questions.  First, I would like to know why the Hamilton County Commission adopted a resolution granting the Chamber of Commerce with the authority to act as ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Production Company Owner Charged With Defrauding Church Of God International Of $100,000

The head of a Cleveland, Tn., production company has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland-based Church of God International of $100,000 in connection with his part in setting up the church's world convention in Orlando, Fla., in 2010. Troy Scot Carter was charged by federal authorities with securities fraud. A four-page criminal information says the church hired Carter ... (click for more)

City Set To Commission $200,000 Mural On MLK Boulevard By Famed Muralist Meg Saligman; Foundations To Cover Cost

The city is set to commission a $200,000 mural on the side of the AT&T Building on MLK Boulevard by famed muralist Meg Saligman. Ms. Saligman has created over 50 murals all over the world, including one called  "Fertile Ground" that is 32,500 square feet in Omaha, Neb. Her most famous mural is "Common Threads" on the west wall of the Stevens Administrative Center ... (click for more)

Rail Runners Win In Double OT

East Ridge Alum Alex Wells has an impressive scoring resume from high school to now in semi pro, but missing is a game-winning shot at any level.   But Sunday afternoon in a Central Basketball Association game, he did everything but hit the winner (16 points) in guiding the Chattanooga Rail Runners to a 116-113 double overtime win against visiting Bowling Green (Ky.). ... (click for more)

UTC Women's Tennis Takes 1st Win Over Furman Since 1997

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s tennis got a huge monkey off its back with a 4-3 win over Furman on Sunday.  The Mocs snapped a 24-match losing streak against the Paladins with their first win in the series since 1997. UTC had come close in the last four meetings, falling 4-3 each time.  Today’s win gives Chattanooga a 14-2 overall record as it ... (click for more)