WARREN - A new type of festival will be starting this year in downtown Warren, bringing people of different denominations and faiths together for two days of family fun while also promoting faith in the community.
The first Warren Believers Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in Courthouse Square. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday will kick off the event.
The event is free. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket.
Bishop James Robinson, event chairman with New Life Fellowship Ministries, said the fest is an organized function designed for people who have strong faith in God.
"Our ultimate goal for having this is to reinstitute the church into the community to where it is no longer just a function on the weekend but an everyday way of life," Robinson said.
The event will feature Christian choirs, mimes, dance and musical groups. A talent showcase will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday and will feature a variety of local faith communities sharing ministries and music.
Both days will include a variety of food vendors, petting zoo, children's activities and games.
Robinson said the event will provide an opportunity for those who believe in God to come together and share with the community.
"We believe that as a Christian community, it is our duty to embrace our city and to pray for its leaders and citizens. We want to declare that "we believe" and demonstrate our love for the community and its people during the event," said Robinson.
Mayor Doug Franklin said the city already has many individualized festivals honoring local heritage and cultures.
He said a few years ago he was approached by Robinson to bring people of faith together.
"It is a great idea and has come to fruition. We can have all denominations come together and celebrate our community," Franklin said.
Robinson said a 100-voice mass choir will rehearse at 6 pm. Thursday at the New Life Fellowship Center, 904 W. Market St., in preparation for the event.
"We believe as Christians, it is our duty to embrace our city and pray for our community," he said.
The Rev. Constantine Valantasis of St. Demetrios Church said the festival will be what a city is about with the coming together of different faiths.
Robinson said the ultimate goal is to reinstate the church into the community .
For information, call 330-533-9413.