Monday, June 15, 2009

About That Thing That Happened at the Locust Street Festival

By Evan Rytlewski
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I'm cautiously optimistic that yesterday's shooting at the Locust Street Festival won't tarnish the annual Riverwest celebration. Without downplaying the severity of any shooting, yesterday's incident wasn't particularly sensational—the victim and the shooter apparently knew each other, so it wasn't a random act of violence—and the Locust Street Festival doesn't have any real history of violence for this to play into. 

Though it's now subject to an unflattering news cycle, my guess is that by next year memories of one isolated incident of violence will take a backseat to recollections of the music, poetry readings, tae bo demonstrations, barbecue and vegan street food that define the festival. Like most public celebrations in the city, the Locust Street Festival remains a safe, orderly, family friendly event. This shooting changes nothing.

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