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



My Trust Is In Temple, Pierce And Causer

My daughter used to jokingly say, “Don't just do something!... Stand there!” Lately I feel I'm just standing there, reading relentless newsprint against two decent Red Bank commissioners up for re-election Nov. 4. We are tired of psycho-babble from campaign cheerleaders who orchestrated a “forum” (pep rally for their team – Roberts and Co.). Shame shame, Causer, Pierce and Temple ... (click for more)

Job-Killing Overreach From The EPA

The White House wants to impose job-killing power plant regulations through what it’s calling a Clean Power Plan. President Obama’s not-so-secret aim is to turn loose the EPA to shut down coal-fired power plants all over America. I’m all for responsible regulation – but this energy policy is reckless.  We need regulations that seek input from stakeholders and are cost-effective, ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Mother Gets 20 Years In Death Of 4-Year-Old Son, Severe Injury To 3-Year-Old

Patricia Brewer was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the abuse death of her four-year-old son and severe injury of her three-year-old son. She appeared before Judge Rebecca Stern and entered guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated child endangerment. Police said the injuries came after the mother left them alone in the care of her boyfriend, who has a history ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Soccer Advance to A-AA State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Juniors Sofia Olenchek and Emma Higgins scored two goals each to lead Notre Dame to a 4-0 victory against No.9 Spring Hill here Wednesday night in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. The win advances No.2 Notre Dame (11-5-4) to the state semis against Jackson Christian Thursday at 5 p.m. EDT. Jackson Christian ... (click for more)

CCS Soccer Wins 1-0; Advances to State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Freshman striker Olivia Hoffman was in the right place at the right time as her goal in the 26th minute proved to be the match winner as No.4 Chattanooga Christian defeated No. 5 Hume Fogg, 1-0, here Wednesday in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Soccer Quarterfinal at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. "The ball bounced off a couple of players and I was able to put it ... (click for more)