Heart of Memphis festival counters Klan rally - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Heart of Memphis festival counters Klan rally

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A few hours before the Ku Klux Klan will hold a rally in Downtown Memphis another event aimed to promote the unity and diversity of this city will be held for families and all of Memphis.

The Heart of Memphis is a free-family friendly event on March 30 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Tiger Lane in the shadows of the Liberty Bowl. There will be several food trucks, Memphis music, art vendors, health screenings and Mayor A C Wharton is expected to host an Easter egg roll.

MORE: Memphis approves KKK permit for March 30 rally

The event is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate everything positive this city offers. Heart of Memphis is an effort between the city, the Greater Memphis Chamber and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and other area organizations.

Organizers say they believe it will remind Memphians in the face of evil, good always comes out on top.

"March 30 is a day there's going to be a lot of media attention on Memphis and this is the other side of the story," said Kevin Kern, one of the event participants.

MORE: HeartofMemphis.com event website

In the past, the city of Memphis has been labeled slothful, fat and crime-ridden. In 1998, the eyes of the world were upon the Bluff City after anti-Klan protestors started fighting during a Klan rally. Soon the Klan will return to the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse on Adams Street.
This time, several groups, business leaders and families will come together on the same day in Tiger Lane with a positive message about the Heart of Memphis.

Allison Cook, market director of Memphis Farmer's Market, said the event will showcase the best of the best the Bluff City has to offer.

"It's wonderful to experience the joy and to get together with really good people and be a positive movement in Memphis," she said.
Literacy Mid-South manager Jeff Rhodin said it's also about promoting the diversity and rich culture of the city.

"When we stand together, when we work together Literacy Mid-South, we're trying to create a community of actively engaged in continuous learning and it's the community aspect we're trying to reach individual or two individuals we're trying to impact the entire Mid-South," Rhodin said.

Several organizations are supporting this event wants the message to be the exact opposite of the protest by the KKK.
"What's happening downtown is a rally, what's happening at Tiger Lane is a festival for the entire family that celebrates the city," Kern said.

The downtown event may be considered negative by some, but members of the Heart of Memphis believe it will be overshadowed by what this city really stands for. In the infamous words of  Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, "we are one Memphis."

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