Two groups are preparing to renew Freaknik this weekend, the picnic organized by college students that morphed into a sprawling street festival that enraged many Atlantans and was eventually shut down by city officials.
One group met Tuesday morning with police officials to discuss a security plan. The group is calling its event iFreaknik and has scheduled events Saturday and Sunday in southwest Atlanta and Dekalb County. Group spokeswoman Lila Brown said they have hired a firm called Total Enforcement Security to provide security.
Another group is calling its event Freaknic and has events scheduled Friday through Sunday at nightclubs and other venues in the city.
City officials say they have not permitted any outdoor events associated with any of the organizers. Atlanta is bracing for as many as 300,000 people to attend several other events this weekend, such as the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Sweetwater 420 Festival, a robotics competition, a Bon Jovi concert and an Atlanta Braves weekend series. Mayor Kasim Reed has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to discuss the traffic and police plan.
Brown insisted her group’s event will be peaceful and not resemble past Freaknik events that created a traffic nightmare.