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This is exactly the reason why trying to "grow" an event such as this into a new venue, etc, is contradictory to the purpose of the event. The purpose to keep people downtown "after hours", to animate the spaces beyond the business activities of the weekdays, is vital to a healthy city. Some events are best when the integrity is retained. The recent removal of the Chattanooga Bessie Smith Strut from the MLK venue to the Riverbend's Riverfront will be another example of destroying the integrity of the event by changing it too much. Venue safety and boundaries is not a new issue, but for some reason it is this year according to the Mayor, and was requesting this change in venue only days ago. The change will severely hurt those businesses on MLK that for the one day of the year had huge crowds of people not normally patronizing their business, walking in, buying products, and sharing the celebration along with all the regulars. It was a unique and important event for the City. Sometimes change is good, but not when the original integrity is lost.
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