ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With gang violence making headlines in communities throughout south Georgia, a group of local promoters took advantage of the Labor Day holiday and used the day off as opportunity to host an event geared towards stopping violence.
Dozens of kids and adults enjoyed a day full of drag racing, food and entertainment at Albany's US 19 Dragway.
It was loud out there. These cars went well over 100 mph on the drag strip. Bikers popped some wheelies, and people I spoke to said it was a thrill to be a part of.
However the whole idea behind this event is to help offer youth entertaining alternatives to violence and gang activity.
As cars fly by spectators at the US 19 Dragway, The theme behind the thrill is to stall gang activity as graffiti and shootings flood the media the past several weeks. It all starts from racers like Bobby Childs who spends time with his grand daughter out here.
"We like to come out here and have a good time with family and friends and bring out tents out and BBQ."
He takes off down the track maxing out at 130 mpg down the roughly 600 feet strip.
Prepping for the race is a job in itself. They have to put on the fire retardant jacket, helmet, gloves, and a neck protector. Once they start the engine temperatures can reach over 130 degrees.
That doesn't bother Jimmy Broadaway who loves coming out here to raise awareness to help keep kids out of trouble.
"It's a good thing. It gives people something to do and it keeps kids off the streets and all," said Broadaway.
Organizers at this Labor Day Bash hope to attract people to more family-friendly events in Albany. Along with the food and games at the bash, hip hop artists and producers put on a show later in the evening.
This comes at a time when Albany has seen several cases involving shootings tied to gang activity.