LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Inside Louisville's King Solomon Baptist Church, a prayer of thanks and giving.

The gathering comes just before the Thanksgiving Day Juice Bowl, a Louisville tradition for six decades.

This year, a special message from Pastor Charles Elliott. After last year’s deadly shooting he's issuing a call for calm.

"I want to say to that family that lost someone, that I am going to be praying for them and I want this year for us to really come together and allow them to have a good time," Pastor Elliott told WHAS11.

Organizers never considered ending the family tradition. For many, it's a time of reunions and reflection. "On this specific day, you can go down and see people that graduated with you. The people that went to elementary school with you. You are going to see some family you haven't seen all year," Juice Bowl organizer John Cole said.

This year, more police are expected to keep the peace even though they believe last year's shooting happened away from the Juice Bowl and wasn't connected to the event.

Pastor Elliott acknowledges the city's murder rate isn't slowing down, but at least for one day, he wants the criminals to put down the guns.

"You are not going to be able to police it all out, but we are going to have to do it with love and with care and with concern," he said.