June 13--SPRINGFIELD -- Saturday's fourth-annual Urban Light Ministries FatherFest will move downtown for the first time, taking place at the City Hall Plaza.
ULM is a Christian organization focused on improving the quality of family life. FatherFest is a showcase of what the organization has to offer, said board member Delvin Harshaw.
The FatherFest program, which runs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and previously took place at Springfield High School and Snyder Park, has grown every year. Last year, around 600 attended, said Harshaw. He hopes the change of locations helps the growth continue.
"We try to get bigger every year," Harshaw said.
This year's event will feature a performance from singer Vaughn Anthony (John Legend's brother), a talent show, six bounce houses for children and several food vendors, including Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken and Olive Garden. Free hot dogs, chips and cookies will be available as well.
Much of this year's event will focus on getting children to read with their fathers.
"It helps the kids and brings a bond," FatherFest board member Vicky Houseman said. "We're going to have a reading corner where our dads can sit and read."
Last year's event featured an appearance from Baltimore Ravens players Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. Though this year's event will not feature any NFL star power, a three-on-three basketball tournament will take place.
Harshaw said ULM projects such as FatherFest are designed to improve fathers in the area.
"The key to the projects is to help fathers to be all they can be," he said.
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