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?”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.