Al Tillman wants the annual Family Fun Day to be taken in its most literal sense.
Tillman, whose organization Unity-N-Community organized the event Sunday at Shrine Park, said Macon needs these kind of events in which members of the Bibb County community -- regardless of race, age or financial standing -- can come together simply to have fun in a safe environment.
Its all about family, Tillman said. This is an extension of our Stop the Violence campaign. ... We brought it all together. ... This is to show that this is about unity, and that we can bring the entire community together as one.
Tillman said he distributed about 2,000 tickets for the event, and hundreds attended the event as it went into Sunday night despite temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s when the festival began in the afternoon.
This is a good event, said Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters, who was scheduled to speak later in the afternoon. Youre getting folks together to have a good time. We need more things like this in our community. Even as hot as it is, its a good crowd.
Winters was one of several scheduled speakers Sunday.
Tyler Horne, a student ambassador for Macon State College and community director for the Young Democrats of Bibb County, was another speaker Sunday. His theme was one of education.
I want to re-emphasize that knowledge and education are important, he said. Its not just a matter of being in school. Its learning and helping yourself.
The event featured several bouncy castles and other activities aimed at children, while several Macon radio stations were represented. There were also T-shirt booths, food, and various contests for prizes.
As the children played, most of the adults Sunday stayed in shaded areas at the park.
This is a good event, said Tameka Horton of Macon. It gets folks together to have a good time. We need more things for our community.
Doretha Edwards said it was good way to spend time with her children, Jacquely, 17, and Dontavin, 12.
I get to spend it with them, she said. Weve really enjoyed it. I hope they do more of these.
Her husband, Robert, said it was the teens who urged them to go.
They wanted to go to hear the (music), he said. (The event) helps kids get together to have fun.
That was the main goal Sunday, Tillman said.
We want to show this is about unity, and that we can bring the entire community together as one, he said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.