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Unity festival at Carlisle's Memorial Park focuses on families, minority-owned businesses

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A festival planned for Saturday in Memorial Park in Carlisle throws a spotlight on minority-owned businesses.

The Unity in the Community October Festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the park at 149 W. Penn St.

Organized by local residents and business owners Lakeyva Davis and Aunye Stackfield, and community advocate TaWanda Stallworth, the event will highlight unity, minority-owned businesses, food vendors and activities for families.

“One of the highlights of the Unity in the Community Festival is the chance to engage with local and regional minority-owned businesses. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been longtime wealth builders for generations,” Mayor Tim Scott said in a news release about the event. “By supporting more Black-owned companies, you can help create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership, credit building and generational wealth for black communities.”

Event organizers Davis and Stackfield said that as young mothers and small black business owners at Rebellious Roze, they felt the need to bring the community together in a positive way.

“We took it upon ourselves to organize the Unity in the Community pop-up shop events to allow small black business owners and local small businesses a platform to showcase their businesses to the community. Our ultimate goal is to inspire and show our children and neighbors that together in unity we can all make a difference,” Davis and Stackfield said in the news release.

In addition to a variety of food and business merchandise, organizers plan to showcase musical entertainment, free games and several giveaways. Attendees will also have a chance to show off their creativity in a pumpkin painting contest. Representatives from Sadler Health Center will also be on hand to provide COVID-19 vaccines, screenings and other health-related information.

At a neighborhood meeting in July, residents asked for more programming to be featured at the park and in the neighborhood. The Unity in the Community Festival is one such event that the organizers hope will bring families from the Carlisle region to the park for a day of unity and family fun.

“Having the festival at Memorial Park is itself meaningful,” Deputy Mayor Sean Shultz said. “Although the memorial and remnants of the cemetery at the park continue to be a reminder of our past wrongs, an event like this where the community can support these business owners is important, particularly in the midst of a pandemic and economic downturn that has been especially detrimental to communities of color.”

West Penn Street will be closed at the intersections of North Pitt and North West Streets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of the event. Parking is available on-street, at the former “Cyberspace” building (now the Professional and Educational Empowerment Center) at 219 N. Pitt St. (corner of West Penn and Pitt Streets), and at the Carlisle Police Department, 240 Lincoln St.

Businesses wishing to participate in upcoming events may contact the organizers at

Email Tammie at Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.


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