The 5th Annual Southfield Festival of Hope, was sponsored by Hope United Methodist Church Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, July 12. Upwards of 20,000 visited the festival over the four days.
The Opening Ceremony captured the festival theme, “Community Forward,” intended to connect the church with the surrounding communities. The Senior Pastor, the Rev. Cornelius Davis, Jr. gave the welcoming remarks and Robert Bruttell, Chairman of the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit spoke on the creative benefits that knowledge and understanding can provide when interfaith groups and networks come together to learn from one another.
Culture was shared, unity was promoted, youth and their families were entertained. The ceremony closed with balloons released in the sky to officially open the festival.
After the ceremony the “Inter-Faith Music Explosion” began representing many religions and cultures in song, dance, or musical instruments.
On Friday and Saturday, families, young people and tots took advantage of the beautiful weather to experience the rides of their choice, from carousel to Sea Dragon. Food aromas filled the air. Vendors showcased their merchandise as people strolled from one part of the festival to another.
Daily entertainment –dance groups, martial arts, singing groups– was suited for the young and old alike.
The Hope United Methodist Church-wide event included Over 100 volunteers from Southfield Hope UMC covered every aspect of the festival and were on duty at all times. A number of sponsors –Art Moran Automotive, DTE Energy, Pepsi and Vibe Credit Union– contributed to the success of the Southfield Festival of Hope. This can be a model for those who want to plan a fundraising festival.