Bessie Smith Strut announces increased security measures - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bessie Smith Strut announces increased security measures


(WRCB) – The Bessie Smith Cultural Center has released a list of new security policies for this year's Strut.

This is the first year the Cultural Center will be hosting the Bessie Smith Strut after Friends of The Festival announced earlier this year that they would not managing the annual event on M.L. King Boulevard.

Among the changes the Cultural Center has announced are controlled entry points with fences, increased security, admission and strict rules about unattended minors.

For the first time in the event's history, the Strut will be fenced in. Entry gates will be located at:

Martin Luther King at Lindsay
King Street at 10th Street
Martin Luther King at Mable

The fencing will allow Strut organizers to search attendees before entering the Strut. The Center says Strut goers will be subject to search before entering, or re-entering the Strut.

The festival will be patrolled by Chattanooga Police, and the Strut has hired off-duty police officers and private security.

Historically, the Bessie Smith Strut has been a free event, encouraging Chattanoogans to visit shops and restaurants along M.L. King Boulevard. This year, the Strut will have an admission fee. The event will still be free to Riverbend pin holders, but anyone without a pin will have to purchase a ticket. Tickets are $5 before June 9th and will increase to $10 after June 9th.

Lastly, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center says that it will be enforcing a strict policy on unattended minors. Anyone under the age of 17 will be required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

The Bessie Smith Strut is Tuesday, June  11th. Scheduled performers include Ike Stubblefield, Hadden Sayers, Joe Louis Walker and Lionel Young Band.

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