The seventh annual Carnell Russ Day Community Unity Festival will be held in Star City beginning Friday, Sept. 21, at the Star City Civic Center. The event is sponsored by the Carnell Russ Foundation.


“The theme, ‘Connecting People, Celebrating Community, Commemorating Change’ is an open invitation for every Southeast Arkansas community resident or entity to come experience and embrace its differences and diversity,” Lea Russ-Glenns, foundation director, said in a news release.


Events include:


Sept. 21 — beginning at 6 p.m. Step Show & More, Meet The Principal, Jason Williamson; Beta Alpha Phi Zeta & Kappa Eta Chapters, Humor-History and Her, Essie Dale-Cableton; and Liturgical Dance - Kaisey Withers.


Saturday, Sept. 22 — Parade — 10 a.m. (lineup 9 a.m. at Bradley and Jefferson), mayoral welcome and ROTC Presentation. The 3 on 3 Basketball event will be held at First Baptist Church Gym. The 3 on 3 registration is$10 per person and the grand prize is $100. (For basketball details, contact Hayes Linville, 870-784-4913.)


Events will also include the Southeast Arkansas History and Beyond and a healthfest including Medicare information and health screenings. Commediene Queen D will also appear.


The grand finale will feature a gospel concert from 3-5 p.m. featuring recording artists Porter Singers, Stew Pearson, Father & Son, and Carolyn Hargrove.


The festival began in 2011 with a proclamation of the Carnell Russ Day in Star City by then-Mayor Gene Yarbrough, according to the release.


The vision for the event was to have a venue connecting the diverse communities of Southeast Arkansas through the sharing of its history, while embracing its cultures, differences and the festive fellowship of unity in its multicultural population, according to the release.


“Honoring Carnell Russ’s life and legacy as a resident of Southeast Arkansas, the festival will showcase cultural diversity, promote harmony in community relationships, and raise awareness of this 47-year-old Arkansas historical fact that took place in Star City,” according to the release.


Vendors are invited to participate by calling 501-541-3732. Details: www.carnellrussfoundation.weebly.com.