TUPELO – A Tupelo community festival opens today with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and continues Saturday with a mile run, parade and music and a barbeque cookout at Gumtree Park.
Continuing for nearly a decade, the Community Forward Festival has connected residents in the city with members of the Tupelo Police Department through music, community activities and other events.
City Council President Nettie Davis, who founded the event, said music, fall weather and good food help make up the event meant to get people out to enjoy themselves while getting to know members of the local police force.
The event has had crowds of up to 5,000 in previous years, Davis said.
“It’s family-oriented and will have a lot of entertainment,” she said. “We will have vendors and games for young people. It’s a way the police and community can get to know each other.”
Two rhythm and blues bands are scheduled to perform at Gumtree Park on Saturday, Birmingham-based Logan-Garrett and local Excel Band.
The events organized by community and police department volunteers are intended to help residents get to know police officers while having a good time.
“Hopefully the community and the police can see each other in a positive atmosphere,” said Tupelo Police Maj. Anthony Hill.
• 5:30 p.m. – Registration begins for 3-on-3 basketball tournament (ages 17 and under) at the Police Athletic League gym. Tournament starts at 6.
• 7 a.m. – Registration begins at Gumtree Park for 1-mile run
• 1 p.m. – Festival parade will move from C.C. Augustus Center to Gumtree Park
• 2 p.m. – Opening ceremony for festival at Gumtree Park