Community group to hold second 'unity' festival

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

For the second consecutive summer, a group of Delaware residents will host a local street fair to promote togetherness.

Last August, a citizen-led group called the Community Unity Coalition organized a day of live music, food and games on the city's south side in hopes of promoting harmony and familiarity.

Organizers deemed the event a success, and on Saturday will host the second annual "Community Unity Festival" at Woodward Elementary, 200 S. Washington St., from noon to 8 p.m.

"We have a lot of fun activities at our festival," said Henry Hart, chairman of the Community Unity Coalition. "We have live music. We have a lot of games for our children.

"We also have school supply and food drives."

Hart said he and fellow community members created the festival to attract people from all walks of life. They hope to provide a venue for people to set aside differences in race, social status and religious affiliation, so people from the city of Delaware, Delaware County and beyond can better understand one another.

Hart, a longtime Delaware resident, added the coalition hoped to instill traditions of a bygone era, when people of Delaware kept better touch with each other.

"People knew their next-door neighbors and the people across the street from them," he said. "We hope to return the community to that."

Games for children and others will be set up, as will food vendors. Attendees are permitted to bring their own food and beverages.

Stressing the family-oriented nature of the event, organizers have stressed weapons, illegal drugs and alcohol are pro-hibited.

Live music also will be featured. Dean Simms, formerly of the Ohio Players, and his band the Funky Gurus will headline for the second year.

Justus and the Victory in Truth Ministry Praise Dancers also will perform.

"It's going to be bigger this year," Hart said. "We've got the school district's permission to use the Woodward playground, and also the city's going to let us use Ross Park."

The festival is free, but organizers again this year ask that attendees bring a nonperishable food item or school supplies to be donated to local schools and service agencies.

"We'll take anything that the schools require for kids going back," Hart said.

"We also have box drops at some Kroger's and some of the other retail outlets in town."

For more information, call (740) 363-9400.