LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kickoff on Thanksgiving morning and the cheers that follow are familiar sights and sounds at Shawnee Park.
Juice Bowl 2018 promises more fun and more excitement.
“Football, great family atmosphere,” Juice Bowl Organizer Waddell Elliott said. “People coming in from out of town, just reuniting with everybody that they hadn’t seen since this time last year. Just a good time.”
That was interrupted by a deadly shooting in 2016.
Two people were killed and four injured when an argument escalated into gunfire.
The shooting did not happen at the field where the Juice Bowl was being held, but it was in Shawnee Park and close enough, according to organizers, to leave the event with a stigma.
Two years later, people are still asking the same questions.
“Is it safe? Can my kids come down and have fun?” Juice Bowl organizer Robert Martin said. “Since that happened, I feel like we came together, got closer. It basically shows we’re not going to tolerate the ignorance or the violence.”
In 2017, the crowds were back and so was the enthusiasm.
Organizers predict a thousand people on Thanksgiving 2018, celebrating the good in their community.