Local faith based group Spirit of Togetherness is holding their annual Gospel Fest on Aug. 5, bringing together the community for a day of worship and family fun. 

The event will feature numerous vendors selling items such as jewelry and art work, plenty of food and performances throughout the day from dozens of choirs, soloists, gospel and dance groups and mimes, including local groups such as The Power Driven Choir, Mount Zion Inner City Choir and Daughters of Devotion.

This year's special guests are Luther and Debra Barnes, national recording artists who have recorded numerous gospel songs. They will be performing throughout the day as well.

Gospel Fest first began in 1992 by local resident Varnessa Armstad. She began the event because of the violence and drug crime that was occurring in Plaquemine in the early 90's, said Pastor Chris Butler.

"She wanted to do something to bring healing and restoration to the community," she said. "We were tired of getting together to go to a young persons funeral. It was birthed through our community going through a really really dark time and Varnessa, the Lord gave her the vision, the idea and we have been running with it ever since."

The event, which first started by the grounds near the civic center, brought in local recording artists, but as it grew over the years, the group was able to get out of town performances for the community, free of charge. 

"Sometimes people can't afford to go to a concert or they don't have the means, so why not bring a recording artist, free. It's really a labor of love for the community. We use our own resources, we make a financial commitment for ourselves."

Gospel Fest will be held Aug. 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the City of Plaquemine Activity Center, 24130 Ferdinand St., Plaquemine. For more information contact Jean B. Mulmore at (225) 939-1090 or Marcy Fisher at (225) 939-7073.