Recap of 2nd Annual Smoketown GetDown

Last month the Jefferson County Chapter hosted the 2nd annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy block party: the party hasn’t stopped since!  The event was a celebration of the history of the Smoketown neighborhood and the innovative ideas from local residents for its future. It took place took place on Friday, September 18th at the corner of Shelby and Lampton streets outside of the Jefferson County KFTC office in Louisville. 

Hundreds of community members lined the streets throughout the day of the GetDown; but even more impressive than the number of attendees was the amount of community leadership in the event itself. The GetDown was truly a people-powered gathering. Smoketown residents and KFCT members were featured vendors, performers, and speakers. Emcees Aubrey Clemons and Ellen Sloan – longtime Smoketown residents – led the celebration from the main stage, introducing GetDown musical performers like the River City Drum Corps, 10th St Blues Band, The Afrophysicists, and DJ Yared Sound. Attendees danced alongside the young stars of Safiyyah Dance Company, listened to the poetry and spoken word of Roots & Wings, sipped craft beer from West Sixth Brewing, enjoyed free pictures from the Magnolia Photo Booth, and tasted treats from local food trucks Louisville Cream, Lexie Lu’s and Pollo

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There’s been lots to celebrate in Smoketown over the past few months. The GetDown coincided with the 150th anniversary of Smoketown, making it Kentucky’s oldest historically-Black neighborhood. Smoketown residents also celebrated the opening of the Smoketown Rising: Time & Seasons photo history exhibit featuring neighborhood memorabilia and dozens of photos of Smoketown families, homes, well-known residents, and landmarks. And residents received a generous surprise shortly before the block party kicked off-- two acres of land was gifted to the community by the Louisville Slugger manufacturer Hillerich & Bradsby Co., giving Smoketown residents an even greater voice in the future of their neighborhood. 

SmoketownGetdown 2015 035And there was lots more to celebrate after the GetDown! 20 attendees became first-time members of KFTC at the block party, several of which took advantage of the dual KFTC/ Smoketown Neighborhood Association package that was available to Smoketown residents. Tips from the West Sixth Brewing beer tent were donated to a Smoketown neighbor needing assistance for critical home repairs. 20 people registered to vote at the KFTC voter registration booth. 50 people – KFTC members and Smoketown residents – volunteered at the event. And nearly 30 community organizations, churches, and local businesses participated in the block party

The Smoketown GetDown was more than just a block party:  it was a celebration of the people, power, spirit, and future of the Smoketown community. Smoketown residents and organizers are looking forward to next year’s 3rd annual Smoketown GetDown for Democracy to celebrate once more the community and people-power of Smoketown!

To check out more photos from the GetDown visit these links:

Facebook Album: http://on.fb.me/1OCmxwo

Flickr Album: http://bit.ly/1Lb8VpG

Mag Booth photos: http://bit.ly/1RIt2hi

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