Rally to stop the violence held in Fairground Park in north St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A party in the park had a serious message in North St. Louis Saturday night. Folks were banding together to stop the killing.

The night time skies over Fairground Park were filled with sky lanterns. They honored the memories of people murdered in the St. Louis area. Organizers said releasing sky lanterns is believed to bestow good luck and symbolically cause worries and problems to float away.  The lanterns were a part of the all day party in the park.

Darren Johnson is a musician who took part, “It will basically help save lives because we’re trying to stop the violence there’s just too much violence out here.”  The event was sponsored by internet radio station saintlouisradio.com.

Darryl Nance Jr. was an organizer, “We don’t want to sit on the sidelines while so much violence is happening in our community.”

Not for profits organizations and local stores donated food, plus there was music and lots of fun.  And, always present was the serious reason people were here, the overwhelming number of shootings and killings in their community.  Vance Williams also helped put the party on, “It’s going to do some good. We just got to keep trying, keep trying, keep trying.”

James Bolden knows about the violence too well, his nine year old daughter Jamyla died after a bullet entered her home and killed her while she was doing her homework.  Bolden said, “I just feel the homes are not safe the streets are not safe and just being out here to see people come together on a positive note touches my heart.”

One of the co-founders of the radio station and his wife are friends of the family of Brandi Hill who was recently murdered in a downtown carjacking.  Crevonda Nance said, “We all may not agree on everything one thing we agree one thing, this senseless killing has got to stop.”

This is the first annual party in the park to stop violence. Many more are planned for the years ahead.