The 42nd annual Gather-In free neighborhood festival will welcome all comers from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 19, at Pitt Park in Pittsfield.

Organized by the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP, this free, fun-filled community event for all ages celebrates the rich cultural traditions and deep roots of the African-American community in Berkshire County - with games and activities for children, musical performances, dance, and other forms of entertainment, as well as food, vendors and informational booths, and a free children's raffle for bikes.

Berkshire County's first and only traditionally African-American neighborhood festival, the Gather-In was founded by the local chapter of the NAACP forty two years ago, and in recent years had been organized by the Westside Neighborhood Resource Center. Two years ago the newly reconstituted Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP assumed leadership of the event, which is open to everyone of all ethnic backgrounds.

"The Gather-In celebrates community, brings together friends and neighbors, and creates a welcoming and diverse atmosphere that all can enjoy," said Gather-In Committee co-chair Henry Lee. "Everyone is invited to join us."

The Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival committee will also sponsor a group reading of Frederick Douglass' stirring address, ""What to the Slave is Your 4th of July," at 3:30 p.m. at the Gather-In, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and sponsored by MassHumanities. Readers will include local youth, community members and more.


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For more information about participating in or supporting the Gather-In, call (413) 464-9060.