THOUSANDS OF NORTH SIDERS PACKED THE PARK SATURDAY (Photos by J.L. Martello)
Despite the rain and cloudiness, between 6,000 to 7,000 people converged on West View Park to take part in the North Side Oldtimers 7th annual Unity Gathering.
“We had stormy rain and everybody got under tents and ran to their cars. After about 15 or 20 minutes the weather cleared up and people came and had a good time,” said Fred “Scrappy” Bulls, North Side Oldtimers co-founder.
THE ALWAYS POPULAR KIDS WANTING TO BE FIREMEN
The weekend-long event started with a cabaret on Friday night, the ever-popular Unity gathering in West View Park on Saturday and concluded with Praise in the Park—a non-denominational church-style service on Sunday.
North Side Oldtimers are a group of survivors made up of men and women from the various North Side neighborhoods who have come together to give back to the communities of their youth. Its primary purpose is to promote peace, harmony and unity among all North Side children and other city residents. The North Side Oldtimers aims to reach out to children—in North Side and beyond—who are susceptible to positive change through as much interaction as possible.
“We had a lot of things for the kids like pony rides and moonwalks,” Bulls said.
For the fifth year in a row, the group auctioned off 14 bikes for the kids as well.
“Some of these children will never get a new bike because of their financial circumstances,” Bulls said
Linda Lewis was one of the initiative’s biggest supporters, donating several bikes in memory of several of her family members who passed away this year.
Some of the sponsors for this year’s Unity Gathering included Highmark, the North Side Coalition for Fair Housing, Mistick North Side Properties Construction Corporation, Odell Robinson Funeral Home, Rivers Casino, City Council members Daniel Lavelle and Darlene Harris, and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and staff.