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East Clayton festival to have more activities

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

In its second year, the East Clayton County Community Day Festival will have a new venue, more sponsors, and more activities for the whole family to enjoy.

The festival, and community yard sale -- the brainchild of State Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro) and Clayton County District 1 Commissioner Sonna Singleton -- will take place this Saturday from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., at Rex Park, located at 3499 Rex Road in Rex.

Activities also will take place in the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, which sits on the park grounds.

"Last year, we had it on the grounds of Rex Mill Middle School, but this year, with the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center being built, we are moving it up to the park," said Singleton. "Last year, with it being an open space, it was hot. With it being at the park, there will be a lot more trees."

"Last year, we were out there on that hot football field," said Glanton. "While we appreciated the use of the facilities, we didn't have anywhere to hide."

Despite the heat, however, Glanton said last year's event drew nearly 5,000 visitors and he expects even more this year; so many more that planners have collaborated with the county's Parks and Recreation Department to provide shuttles for the event.

Free shuttles will carry visitors from Rex Mill Middle School, Adamson Middle School and Christian Life Center on Rex Road to alleviate parking at Rex Park.

As with last year, this year's festival will be a day of food, musical performances, and local shopping. Serving as mistress of ceremonies will be gospel recording artist, Liz Yancey, while local, positive Hip Hop performer, Young Prayzr (a.k.a. T-Rep), will perform triple duty as master of ceremonies, performer, and disc jockey. Latin Hip Hop artist, "Fabio," will perform, along with a slew of other local artists.

Citizens also will be invited to sell their wares in a Community Yard Sale. Organizers are expecting 50-60 local vendors this year, selling toys, appliances, art, and other household items. There also will be face-painting, moon-walks, slides, and pony rides for the kids.

Unlike last year, Saturday's event will include athletic events targeting teens and young adults, including a three-on-three basketball tournament, a ladies' volleyball tournament, and pool-side water games and activities.

"This year is going to be even better with us having access to the recreation center," said Singleton. "We're going to have more family programming. We're not just catering to kids."

"With the activities we had [last year], we attracted more of the younger kids and adults," said Glanton. "We want to do more to bring out that 18-30-year-old group.

"This we believe is a great expansion of the event itself and we only hope to grow from here," Glanton said.

Vendor space for the Community Yard Sale is still available. For information about being a vendor, contact Marie Barber at (770) 961-6441.