Group supports keeping Strut downtown

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Whether the Bessie Smith Strut remains in downtown Chattanooga or is moved to the Riverbend site might be decided by who will be responsible for it.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival, which backs the Riverbend Festival, said his group will spearhead an effort to keep the Strut on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Baker said the issue to be resolved is whether the friends group can get liability insurance for the event on MLK.

Mayor Ron Littlefield angered many black residents of the city last month when he announced the celebration would be moved to the RIverbend site and renamed the Bessie Smith Celebration.

The Strut takes place during the longer Riverbend Festival.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 147024695 -
Gray Television, Inc.