The Journal Gazette
Sunday, August 22, 2021 1:00 am

Festival celebrates 10th anniversary

Virus results in smaller crowd

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

The southeast side came out Saturday for unity, soulful gospel music, food trucks, a clothing giveaway and a chance to remember those taken by the coronavirus. 

Organizer Joe Ayers said the numbers at the 10th annual Summit City Community Festival at McMillen Park might not have been as great as in past years because local coronavirus numbers have been rising, but it was still a time “to bring the community out together.” 

Ayers lined up 15 groups to sing on a stage protected from the hot sun while fans sat in a large tent, enjoying the harmonies.

Blevins Sisters gospel group was honored at the annual event. The sisters have been singing gospel for 47 years and have performed in churches and other engagements throughout the Midwest and Chicago. 

Terrece Fairgood, Flagstar Bank’s downtown branch manager, sat at a vendor table fanning herself but said the music was getting her through the hot afternoon, with the temperature peaking at 87 degrees. Two teenagers walked up with tote bags from the Fort Wayne Urban League and asked politely if they could have a piece of candy.

“It’s uplifting and inspiring and it’s for a worthy cause,” said Fairgood, born and raised in Fort Wayne. “We’ve been here every year or just about every year.” 

Sponsors included Sweetwater Sound, PNC Bank, United Auto Workers Local 2209, Fort Wayne Urban League and Neighborhood Health, among others. 

Other honorees included Pastor Clifford White and First Lady Carolyn White, former Wayne Township Trustee Rick Stevenson, former WANE-TV anchor and current president/CEO of the Fort Wayne Urban League Terra Brantley, and “those who lost their lives to COVID-19, violence and health issues,” the program noted.


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