By Joel Hall
In an effort to celebrate the Lovejoy Community Center's first full year of operation, and to bring more attention to its programs, the City of Lovejoy will host its first-ever music festival this weekend.
The Lovejoy Music Festival will take place Saturday, 6-11 p.m. The event will feature the musical and poetical talents of several local artists, as well as food provided for a nominal fee, by Kickin' Chicken in Lovejoy.
Recently elected Lovejoy councilwoman, Rebekah Holland, led the way in organizing the event. She said the festival is another way to highlight the community center.
"It's a way to bring more attention to the community center, because a lot of people don't know that there is a community center," said Holland. Given that the festival will take place on Mother's Day weekend, she said it will be a great time for people to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and music with their mothers.
Six artists were scheduled to perform, as of Thursday. Those include Peaceful Harmony, an a cappella gospel group from Jonesboro; Destiny and tha Crew, a Lovejoy-based singing group which performs gospel, reggae, and hip-hop; Automatik, a locally-based poetry and spoken-word artist; The Soulfood Band, a jazz, gospel, and R&B instrumental group; Antoine Knight, a recording artist and saxophonist, and Psalms 150, an R&B and jazz group.
Assistant City Manager George Belgrove, said the event is a response to a need expressed by Lovejoy residents. "A lot of the citizens have expressed a desire to have things like this," said Belgrove. "We wanted to be able to give back to the community. All the programs that we are doing, we have had a need for."
Belgrove said the music festival will provide a fertile ground for future events the city is planning at the community center, such as a "Spring Fashion Extravaganza" for senior citizens, a basketball tournament, and a job fair.
"Certainly, we would like to have more people come," to the community center, said Belgrove. "With the responses we are getting, I see it as becoming more dynamic."
The Lovejoy Community Center is located at 11622 Hastings Bridge Road in Hampton. For more information, call (678) 479-8655.