The gray clouds, thunder and rain didn't stop kids from enjoying the train rides, face paintings, reindeer, music, food, and gifts at Yo Gotti
's Christmas carnival Monday evening.
The event served as the third installment of Gotti’s annual “Yo Gotti Christmas” initiative. However, this was the first year he incorporated a carnival.
“To me, it’s all about helping the community, helping the city, and helping families. But I wanted to do something that was more of a celebration,” Gotti said. “And that’s what this event is supposed to be. When you think holidays, you think of getting with the family … you know, some things are bigger than the gifts; it’s the environment.”
The event, which also featured a bouncing house, merry-go-round and free haircuts, took place in both a parking lot and tent near Gotti’s Prive' Restaurant
The North Memphis-bred rapper and entrepreneur collaborated with former NBA star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway (also present at the event) to hold the carnival and give away gifts.
More than 200 members of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis
were invited to the event. And a long line of locals also came out to enjoy the fun.
In addition to the carnival, Gotti collaborated with Hot 107.1
for its “Christmas Wish List” contest, which involved radio listeners writing an essay that explained why their family was in need of assistance this holiday season. Three winners were selected, and all received a Christmas shopping spree courtesy of Gotti.
A successful music career has enabled Gotti to give back to his native city, but he still remembers when his family was among those receiving assistance during the holidays.
“I can’t remember the exact name it was, but I actually got gifts from a program,” Gotti recalled. “I had a lot of good Christmases, but I remember that one. I remember my momma putting us in the car, and we went down to this church. They gave me a bike, a couple games, and different things. I knew way back then if I ever got into position, I was going to do something similar.”
Gotti launched his Yo Gotti Christmas initiative in 2012. In the two previous years, he personally delivered gifts to impoverished families and held bike giveaways.
Check out some images of the Christmas carnival below.
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