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For the last eleven years, it’s been a tradition of mine to work as a bouncer at Nicky Blaine’s on the second Saturday night of Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration.

That tradition may be coming to an end.

I started it back in 2006 when the owner, as well as other downtown businesses, would tell me stories of teenagers running the streets and getting out of control.  And things hit their peak back in 2010 when Shamus Patton decided to shoot several people.

Not only how times have changed, but so much, it’s as one friend put it, downtown was business as usual.

Thanks to the collective work of IMPD, Indiana Black Expo, smart parents and well-behaved kids this year, as well as lot of early work over the past couple of years by the Ten Point Coalition and other faith-based groups and volunteers, what used to be one of the worst Saturday nights downtown, is now just like any other weekend evening.

The crowds were not as heavy, but that was due more to the irregular periods of heavy rain earlier in the day.  There were lots of families, as well as the downtown party crowd.   Even the homeless, some of which can be a bit aggressive at times on the Circle, were well-mannered. 

There were a couple of incidents downtown that evening, but nothing that could be connected or tied to Expo.  Those were both typical “downtown type stuff.”

So now that I have completed year five, and things have been relatively incident free, I think it’s time to retire my Nicky Blaine’s bouncer polo shirt and call it a day.   

I will still head to my favorite watering hole next year, but it won’t be to work, but to enjoy a cigar and libation while reflecting on how one of the most annoying Saturday nights in downtown Indy is not just another Saturday.