Annual Blue Strong event is Tuesday in downtown Jackson

JACKSON, Tenn. — Volunteers come together to prepare for the third annual Blue Strong event in downtown Jackson.

A community meet and greet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. followed by the Blue Strong service at 6 p.m. at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in downtown Jackson, according to the Jackson Police Department.

Like a ninja swooping from the sky, members of the police department’s SWAT team rappelled Tuesday afternoon through the civic center.

Lt. Shane Beaver says this as a necessary but not commonly used skill for the team. While there isn’t a dangerous situation happening, the repels are in preparation of the Blue Strong event.

Crews spent the day checking lights, moving props and setting up. Rows of empty chairs will become a sea of red, white and blue by evening.

Hundreds if not thousands of West Tennesseans are expected to attend the special ceremony honoring those who protect and serve.

“We’re saluting them and their efforts to help Jackson and Madison County be a better place to live,” stage director Becky Fly said.

As with previous years, organizers say music, prayer and recognition will be part of the celebration.

“We must pay respect to these people who take care of us,” Fly said.