Community of unity


By Kasie Strickland - ktrickland@civitasmedia.com



A parade wound around the downtown area of Easley to kick off the annual festival.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

The Family Unity Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary on Saturday.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Fried fish, chicken, bar-be-cue, coleslaw, beans — you name it — it was all there. And it was delicious.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Hand-made jewelry was offered at tables and booths set up by local artisans.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

“I’m going back for my second plate,” said Teddy Easton of Pickens. “I didn’t eat breakfast today because I knew we were heading here.”


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

When you weren’t eating, you were dancing.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

After the success of last year’s event, festival organizers re-booked the familiar NuSound Band out of Greenville to headline the show.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Playing with a friend at the Family Unity festival.


Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

EASLEY — The Family Unity Festival celebrated its 15th year on Saturday in style with a parade, music, dancing, and some of the best food to be found in the Upstate.

“I come every year, I never miss it,” said Shanti Johnson. “This is all about togetherness — coming together to have a good time, but also to remember to come together when time’s maybe aren’t so good. It’s about remembering you are part of a community.

“See, there’s a reason community ends that way: unity. That’s what this is about,” Johnson said.

Bouncy houses provided entertainment for the kids while the winners of the parade were announced and presented with giant trophies.

Hand-made jewelry and a few arts and crafts were set up for sale on tables but the real attraction at the festival was the food — which could be smelled from all over downtown Easley luring more and more people to the square.

Fried fish, chicken, barbecue, coleslaw, beans — you name it — it was all there. And it was delicious.

“I’m going back for my second plate,” said Teddy Easton of Pickens. “I didn’t eat breakfast today because I knew we were heading here.”

When you weren’t eating, you were dancing.

After the success of last year’s event, festival organizers re-booked the familiar NuSound Band out of Greenville to headline the show.

Although the Unity Festival is one of the smaller events held in Old Market Square, interest in the festival is growing with attendance this year an estimated 30 percent larger that last.

“Well, I think it would be bigger if maybe they worked on getting the word out more, but I’m not sure bigger is better,” said Easton. “I mean, this isn’t put on by the city or anything so these guys just don’t have the budget for a bunch of advertising and stuff.

“It really doesn’t matter, I don’t see anyone here having a bad time, do you?”

Nope.

A parade wound around the downtown area of Easley to kick off the annual festival.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_002.jpgA parade wound around the downtown area of Easley to kick off the annual festival. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

The Family Unity Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary on Saturday.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_005-1.jpgThe Family Unity Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary on Saturday. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Fried fish, chicken, bar-be-cue, coleslaw, beans — you name it — it was all there. And it was delicious.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_006-1.jpgFried fish, chicken, bar-be-cue, coleslaw, beans — you name it — it was all there. And it was delicious. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Hand-made jewelry was offered at tables and booths set up by local artisans.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_029.jpgHand-made jewelry was offered at tables and booths set up by local artisans. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

“I’m going back for my second plate,” said Teddy Easton of Pickens. “I didn’t eat breakfast today because I knew we were heading here.”
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_039.jpg“I’m going back for my second plate,” said Teddy Easton of Pickens. “I didn’t eat breakfast today because I knew we were heading here.” Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

When you weren’t eating, you were dancing.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_060.jpgWhen you weren’t eating, you were dancing. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

After the success of last year’s event, festival organizers re-booked the familiar NuSound Band out of Greenville to headline the show.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_102.jpgAfter the success of last year’s event, festival organizers re-booked the familiar NuSound Band out of Greenville to headline the show. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

Playing with a friend at the Family Unity festival.
http://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_103.jpgPlaying with a friend at the Family Unity festival. Kasie Strickland | The Sentinel-Progress

By Kasie Strickland

ktrickland@civitasmedia.com

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

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