GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The 8th annual Unity Festival brought hundreds together in Gulfport for some good old fashioned fun Saturday afternoon.
"This is a great way to get the community together to promote unity," said event coordinator Cassandra Harper-Walton.
Taking over several streets, the festival welcomed around 54 vendors from all over the country. One woman traveled to the event from Atlanta.
"The community coming together after Katrina and trying to have some sort of history made me want to be a part of it," said Joan Vassar.
Local artists, cooks, musicians and more braved the rainy forecast to unite the community, and promote their businesses.
Author J. Asmara traveled from South Carolina to attend.
"As an author, its all about getting new readers to welcome your art. So anytime you can go somewhere to meet new people and new potential readers, it's always a good thing," Asmara said.
Some even hope that the Unity Festival can give the community a break from recent violence ravaging the city.
"Anything that can bring the community together to get their minds off of what they're going through is good," said Melissa Cobb
Several speakers came out to speak-out against the violence. The event featured a parade and line dancing.