By Joel Hall
State Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Ellenwood), and Clayton County District 1 Commissioner Sonna Singleton, will host the third annual East Clayton County Community Festival this Saturday. The festival, which has become a signature event for the Rex and Ellenwood communities, will take place from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, 3499 Rex Road, in Rex.
This year, the free, family-oriented event will feature a magician, pony rides, health screenings, food vendors, a community yard sale, complimentary haircuts for children ages 14 and under, youth basketball and volleyball tournaments, and all-day musical entertainment. In addition, local restaurants, businesses, non-profits and county agencies will be on site to provide information to visitors.
Glanton, the event's co-sponsor, said while the festival has evolved since its first run at Rex Mill Middle School, the idea behind the event has remained the same.
"A lot of times, people say that we don't have enough opportunity for people to get together and do things together, but this is that opportunity," Glanton said. "As much as it is a day of entertainment and relaxation, it is also a day of education and health awareness. People can interact with the people who provide community services, and get a better feel for the community as a whole."
Among the businesses and agencies expected to be represented at the event are Clayton County Public Schools; the Clayton County Grassroots Leadership Institute; Metro Fair Housing Services; the Housing Authority of Clayton County; the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; the Clayton County Library System; Arts Clayton; QT Kitchens and Chick-fil-A.
Musical entertainment will be provided throughout the day by a diverse mix of jazz, gospel, reggae, popular, and hip hop performers including: Liz Yancey; the PanSONICS Steel Band; Bishop A & The Hip Hop Party League; ZAMAR; Clark King; the Jazzmatic Duo; Lil' D, and Guru Fish.
Singleton said she is pleased with the event's growing popularity. She said she believes it has given northeast Clayton County a reason to come together.
"Representative Glanton and I came up with this program about four or five years ago, before we were elected," Singleton said. "We were friends and neighbors and we talked about how there were no events [on] this side of Clayton. We wanted to have a fun-filled day where people could come out and just enjoy Clayton County.
"The first year, we were pleased with the outcome because it showed that people wanted something to do," she added. "I hope the people will recognize that Clayton County is a great place to live, work, and raise our children."
For more information, call Glanton at (678) 479-7730 or Singleton at (678) 201-2187.