Taking Back Your Streets: California Day puts aside pressures and violence in community

Taking Back Your Streets: California Day Celebration helps put aside violence in community

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One of Louisville’s oldest communities came together with pride and unity on Saturday, not only for a day of fun, but also showing its solidarity against violence. The annual California Day Celebration takes place the last Saturday in August each year.

The founders of California Day said when they started this nearly 50 years ago their only plan was to get a group of friends together.

Greg Cotton (left) and Glenn Montgomery (right) were two of the original founders of California Day.
Greg Cotton (left) and Glenn Montgomery (right) were two of the original founders of California Day. (Source: Phylicia Ashley)

Gleen Montgomery was one of the original founders of California Day.

“So we got some beer and we got some friends then somebody bought a grill then somebody else bought a grill and next thing we know we’ve got a party,” Montgomery said.

A party that brings the California neighborhood together with free food, clothes and positive vibes.

”We pass the love and respect down from each other from generation to generation,” said Montgomery. “That’s the goal now but initially we didn’t have a goal did we, Greg?!"

Greg Cotton was also a California Day founder.

Both Montgomery and Cotton acknowledge the struggles in their community.

"We always do it the last Saturday of the month because that’s when people out here don’t have any food,” Cotton said.

"All the violence going on there was a murder about a month ago over on the next block that won’t stop this,” said Montgomery.

Whatever is happening behind closed doors or happened on the street is left outside the park.

“If you didn’t learn respect at home, you’ll learn it here today,” said Montgomery.

The “old school” California souls said the goal now is to pass on those “old school" rules because it’s easier to love one another than hate on each other.

”It’s a God send,” said Montgomery.

California Day was possible because community members gave up their own time and money to make this day happen.

Metro Council President David James hosted the California Day Celebration.

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