Agape Block Party, one of six events to UNITE Lancaster Saturday

Performers at Agape Block Party 2010

A band performs at the Agape Block Party during UNITE Program Day 2010.

LANCASTER – Agape Youth Ministries will host a community celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday at American Heroes Park.  The public is welcome to attend the free event, which will feature a wide array of activities, including live musical performances by local bands and singers, informational booths by social service providers and vendors, food and drinks, and pick-up basketball games. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and other items appropriate for a day at the park.

The event will also include a clothing drive, allowing attendees to bring items they wish to donate, and those in need an opportunity to obtain clothing.

The Agape Block Party is one of six community-building projects taking place Saturday as part of the second annual Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort (UNITE) Program, which aims to strengthen ties among neighbors and improve the community in areas ranging from beautification to public safety.

“The UNITE Program offers Lancaster residents an opportunity to be the change they wish to see in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Through these projects, they can affect immediate, tangible change right here in our community.”

Elm Avenue Community Garden 2010

Volunteers work on the Elm Avenue Community Garden during the 2010 UNITE Program.

Other UNITE projects scheduled for Saturday are:

  • Art in the Garden, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the southeast corner of Elm and Milling in downtown Lancaster. Elm Avenue Community Garden, will host an art-oriented event to enhance and beautify its existing facility. Neighborhood volunteers will participate in open-air painting, the installation and decoration of a water fountain, lighting installation and more.
  • Planting the Seeds of Life. This event takes place in conjunction with Art in the Garden, and provides an opportunity for youth and seniors to work side-by-side in planting a garden, which will serve to enhance the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Mural for Equality. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., at 10th St. W. & Avenue H-6. Local organizations will work together to paint a mural symbolizing equality, harmony and diversity. The selected artist, Larissa Nickel, will be on hand to oversee and coordinate as the volunteers bring her artwork to life.
  • Unity by Numbers. 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., at 2nd St. E., between Ave. J and Lancaster Blvd. Members of the Baha’i Faith of Lancaster will volunteer to repaint the address numbers on curbs in neighborhoods throughout the City, beginning with homes in the Antelope Valley High School area. This project aims to boost public safety by ensuring that house numbers are readily visible, should an emergency vehicle need to find them. The project will be continued once a month for 10 months.
  • Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge. 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., at Desert View Wellness Home, 1102 W. Ave. H-5. A 12-week challenge will be launched to encourage healthy eating for local youth and their families. Participants will learn from experts about healthy eating, nutrition, and lifestyle habits, in addition to engaging in a competition to lose the most excess weight.

To participate in the UNITE Program, local volunteers conceived of a project together with their neighbors or community organization, then submitted an application for consideration. Finalists underwent an interview process with the Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission and the Safer Stronger Neighborhoods Committee, who jointly administer the program. The projects taking place Saturday were selected from a pool of 19 applicants. For more information, visit