MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The circus is in town, and this year the group is entertaining crowds while encouraging people to take back their streets.
Tuesday, kids from local schools and their families paraded down their streets. Organizers say their message is to not give up on your hometown.
Community leaders in Hickory Hill will tell you their streets have earned a bad reputation in the last few years for crime, but they hope bringing community back into focus will help fight the new stigma.
You might call it a step in the right direction. Kids, police and community leaders coming together for a cause in their own backyard.
Val Copeland is with Universoul Circus.
He said, "It's basically to address some of the downsides of what is happening in this community.You want people to come out and have a good time and let them know this is a safe place to be. The circus loves being here, and this is our community."
Universoul Circus has been coming to Memphis for 15 years, but this parade is a first for the circus. Organizers hope to make it part of the visit each year.
Reginald Goodrich lives in Hickory Hill.
He said, "We need to do more community events like this in this area and not just here, but all of here, Memphis as a whole."
Organizers like Goodrich say the circus is a perfect promoter for this kind of event because the circus makes everyone feel like a kid again, and every kid deserves to feel safe in their hometown.
After Tuesday's parade, the group held a peace rally to reinforce the message that this community is taking back their streets.