Sunday, September 16, 2007

Festival City

Yesterday's beautiful weather helped boost the turnout of the annual Cooper-Young Festival way above an estimated 60,000 people -- it was such a gorgeous day. Everyone I spoke with along the packed streets agreed that it makes no sense for our lovely Fairgrounds Park to sit locked away, while tens of thousands of people mill about a mere three blocks down Young Avenue.

The Festival will only get bigger, and the parking will only get more congested -- cars lined every street for many blocks in all directions. Meanwhile, just three blocks up Young Avenue, on the other side of a fence, thousands of parking spaces sat empty. Several people wondered why a shuttle bus was not in effect.

The effects of this congestion may have been what caused one policeman to get hit by a car as he was directing traffic -- my husband saw it happen at Cooper and Evelyn after darkness fell. I hope the officer is not injured, as I have not seen anything in the newsmedia yet about this tragedy!!!

Memphis can become a Festival City -- the only thing lacking is "political will." With Memphis's authentic cultural and musical heritage, it makes sense to fill the void created by the devastating loss of New Orleans as the festival capital of the South.

The only thing lacking about the C-Y Festival is the absence of offerings for young children. Once again, the little ones were left out of the equation. We will correct this deficit next summer when our Grandparents' Day Festival will be launched -- complete with a rain-date set for the Sunday after the C-Y Festival.

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