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Gospel concert shows off park renovations

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.– The Inspirational Choir from Centergrove A.M.E. Church sings.

Gospel concert shows off park renovations
August 03
05:00 2017

Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke invited city residents to a newly renovated Fairview Park, 828 Bethlehem Lane at U.S. Highway 52 North, on Saturday, July 29 to attend the annual Gospel in the Park.

Performers included Jeremiah Slater and NU Elevation Worship, Stephen L. Williams and Favor, and the choirs from Red Bank Baptist Church, Union Baptist Church and the Centergrove A.M.E. Inspirational Choir. 

There were also food trucks, merchandise vendors on site and a ribbon cutting to commemorate the renovations made to the park.

Burke, who represents the Northeast Ward on City Council, said the reason for bringing the gospel event to Fairview Park was because of its historical importance.  She says many current residents do not know the history of this particular area of the City”so this was the perfect event to highlight the park and the surrounding area.

“There is a lot of traffic and a lot of churches in the area, and I thought it would be a good place for people to learn the history,” said Burke.  “We want people to have reunions, birthday parties and services here, so we wanted to give the park a refreshing look.”

Burke says another reason for choosing the location was to have the surrounding community come out to see what the history of the area is along with taking on ownership of the revitalization efforts from the city.

Council Member Denise “D.D.” Adams was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.  She has been a strong supporter of the revitalization efforts to the eastern part of the city and says she definitely wanted to be there for this event.

“This is the beginning of what we need to see back in our community,” she said.  “This goes back to the push Mayor Pro Tempore and some of us are making who represent the urban core of the city.  Downtown is great but everyone is not going downtown.  When I was growing up, we got much of our entertainment in the park, so I think this is a tremendous step for the Liberty Street area and I’m excited about it.

“Our history has been torn down and destroyed and the only way our young people are going to know what we know is we have to put these vision boards out in our communities so they can see what we were and what we did back then to see where we are going,” she went on to say.

As for Adams, she thinks that with all of the new development of the downtown area, she doesn’t want people to forget about certain pockets of the city that need the same.  She says, “If we don’t develop this area then more economic development won’t follow.”

“What we are doing now by planting some trees, building infrastructure, building parks and trails and upgrading roads, then people will come,” Adams said.  “I remember growing up, this was a commercial area for minority businesses and we are trying to make that happen again.” 

Burke says this is just one of a few events planned for Fairview Park.  There will be more to come in the fall.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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