Bessie Smith Strut Pushing Safety, Fun

Reported by: Shawn Lanier
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Updated: 5/19 11:44 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) The Bessie Smith Cultural Center wants to make sure you have a great time while still feeling protected at the Bessie Smith Strut. So they are stepping up security without taking away from the fun atmosphere.

"What we're saying is it's a safe fun event,” said the President of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

The Bessie Smith Strut is just around the corner and organizers have been hard at work to make this an unforgettable event for Chattanooga.

“The Bessie Cultural Center became engaged with the Bessie Smith Strut in a larger way about three years ago,” said Martin

The cultural center is looking to cut down on any potential problems by setting some strict ground rules for teens.

"If they are under eighteen years of age, they need to be escorted by an adult,” Martin explained.

Everyone who attends will get a wristband that will help indicate the person's age to security.

This is supposed to be a celebration of the culture on MLK Boulevard that is formerly 9th street, and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center is proud to see some familiar faces back for another year like Champ’s.

"We're definitely the people's restaurant here,” said Shift Leader Shelby Lehman.

It’s a Chattanooga favorite that brings food and even a little entertainment.

"We bring the fun I think,” Lehman added. “We always have live music, and we have turkey legs every year, and our chicken-on-a-stick out here in the front."

Other vendors will add more to the Bessie Smith Strut hoping to continue to build off the success they are having.

"How we can take something that may have been a challenge and turn it in to something wonderful,” said Martin.

The Strut is June 9.

2014 BESSIE SMITH STRUT FACT SHEET
Important things to know about this year’s Strut:
The Bessie Smith Strut will be fenced in with an admission fee.
Everyone will be issued an armband prior to entering the site. Valid Photo ID must be shown for anyone 21 and older or current College ID if under 21. All children 17 and under are required to be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult. Children 10 and under are admitted free with an adult. Note: (Bobby Rush performance will contain adult content not suitable for children.)
How much are the tickets?
Tickets are $7 (through June 6) and will increase to $10 after June 6. Riverbend pin/wristband holders may purchase tickets for $7 in advance or at the gate.
Where can tickets be purchased?
Tickets may be purchased at one of the following ticket outlets:
Area Kangaroo Gas Stations

Bessie Smith Cultural Center
200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Champy’s
526 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Maggie G's
400 E Martin Luther King Blvd.

JJ’s Bohemia
231 E Martin Luther King Blvd.

Roshanna’s Hair & Beauty Bar
320 E Martin Luther King Blvd.

Chatt Smokehouse
416 E Martin Luther King Blvd


Advanced $7 Tickets may also be purchased online through Friday, June 6th at bessiesmithstrut.eventbrite.com. Please note that there is a $1.38 processing fee charged to each online ticket. Bathroom passes for the Bessie Smith Cultural Center will be available for purchase at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center after gates open.
Where are the entrance gates to the Strut?
There will be three entrances that will provide easy and direct access to the street festival. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King & Lindsay
King Street & 10th Street
Martin Luther King & Peeples Street
What items are acceptable to bring to the Strut?
Strut goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs (no metal chairs or large plastic chairs), cameras, and special needs assistive devices to the Strut.
The following items are prohibited:
· Coolers
· Food or Beverages
· Glass containers
· Framed or large backpacks
· Folding chairs
· Carts
· Fireworks or explosives
· Pets
· Skateboards, scooters, personal motorized vehicles or bicycles
· Video/Audio equipment: No video or audio recording will be allowed
· Metal aerosol containers, including sunscreen
· Weapons of any kind or firearms
· Illegal substances (including narcotics or drug paraphernalia)
· Unauthorized solicitations, handbills, sampling, giveaways, etc.
· No illegal vending is permitted. No unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed
Strut goers and their belongings are subject to search upon entry and re-entry of the Bessie Smith Strut.
What can you expect at the Strut
Security
In addition to the Chattanooga Police Department securing the Strut, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center has employed off duty Chattanooga Police Department and private security officers to ensure the safety of Strut goers.
Vendors
All vendors will undergo a permitting process and no outlaw vendors are permitted
All beer permit holders have undergone training to promote safety and compliance

Logistics
The Strut site has an approved logistics plan to enhance safety
BSCC will utilize Team Captains throughout the site to provide information to event participants to enhance the experience.

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE
BESSIE SMITH STRUT
MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Nikki Hill (Roots Rock and Roll) 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Andy Allo (Funk/Soul) 7:00 - 8:15 p.m.
Bobby Rush (Blues/Electric Blues) 8:35 - 10:15 p.m.
NOTE: Bobby Rush performance will contain adult content not suitable for children.

Tressle Stage
Big James & Chicago Playboys (Contemporary Blues) 5:15 - 6:30 p.m.
Rusty Wright Band (Blues/Rock) 6:45 - 8:00 p.m.
Boukou Groove (Funk/R & B/Blues Rock) 8:15 - 9:20 p.m.
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