South DeKalb shows heart at inaugural outdoor festival
10/4/2013, 6 a.m.
The Heart of South DeKalb Festival that drew more than a thousand residents, businesses, churches, and community groups and organizations together on Sept. 28 was a big winner.
And DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson said it will definitely be back next year.
“It showcased what we are doing right in our community,” said Johnson, who represents District 3. “It showed the true essence of South DeKalb.”
The inaugural outdoor festival on Sept. 28 kicked off at 8:30 a.m. with a parade featuring homeowners associations, civic groups, schools, businesses and high school marching bands.
Starting at New Life Community Center on Flat Shoals Road, the parade culminated in the parking lot near Macy’s at the Gallery at South DeKalb, where performers and celebrities made appearances throughout the day.
Vendors and exhibitors included local businesses and government agencies and departments.
Johnson told participants that the free festival highlighted all that is good about South DeKalb and encouraged them to say “Hi, neighbor” to anyone they didn’t know.
He said Thursday that with the aid of the volunteers who helped put the festival on, he plans to grow it.
“It was a great beginning for us in South DeKalb,” he said. “We are going to build on that success.”
Proceeds from the nonprofit initiative benefit the DeKalb Police Alliance, DeKalb Fire Explorers Program, Keep DeKalb Beautiful and Johnson’s neighborhood programs.
DeKalb NAACP President John Evans, who spoke at the start of the daylong event, said it gave a boost to the community.
“We need something like this to keep us from always thinking that everything in our community is wrong,” he said. “We need this positiveness.”
View video of the parade at http://crossroadsnews.com/videos/2013/sep/28/582/.