The Unity Festival celebrates its 14th year in The Quarters of Downtown Gulfport this Saturday, March 19th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Founded by Cassandra Harper-Walton in 2009, the family-friendly event includes a children’s carnival, food trucks, vendors, arts and crafts for 55+, a book club, and a parade that will begin at 1 o’clock.
There is something for everyone at The Gulfport Unity Festival!
After Hurricane Katrina destroyed her salon on 31st Avenue and 19th Street, Harper-Walton was anxious to regain her roots and gather people together again.
“This event was originally meant to be a BBQ for folks to see people they haven’t seen in a while,” she explained.
But over time, it’s evolved into what is now known as The Unity Festival.
Everyone and anyone is welcome and encouraged to come to the festival and enjoy good company and great food.
Guests and vendors come from several states such as Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana to attend the event, which is also free of charge for anyone and everyone.
The Unity Festival (Unity Festival Inc.) is a non-profit organization with a philanthropic heart. They fund scholarships for students in need and engineer various charity drives during the holiday season.
Fittingly, the festival takes place on 31st Avenue and 19th Street in The Quarters of Downtown Gulfport, right where Harper-Walton’s salon used to stand. The Gulfport Unity Festival is more than just a festival; it is a gathering that represents and celebrates the spirit, strength, and perseverance of the Gulfport area.
Harper-Walton began this event with the idea to simply gather people together after a stormy season on the coast—both literally and metaphorically speaking. This gathering has continued to grow for 14 years, serving as proof that one idea and one person can truly make a difference.
“This is a great way to get the community together to promote unity. It has been a sweet journey,” she said.