Harlem, G.A. (WJBF)- The 34th- annual Oliver Hardy Festival returned to the streets of Harlem where hundreds of people gathered for parade and festival fun.

“We just enjoy coming for the food, the comradery– it’s just a good time,” Harlem Resident Sonny Serigney said.

Serigney has been a part of the Harlem community for more than 40 years. He tells me there’s nothing like the Harlem spirit. 

“Personally I’m from New Orleans, originally, so never seen anything like this. The culture of the southern cuisine and so, so, it’s just a good time.”

Before people walked down Louisville Street for the festival, they sat along Milledgeville Road for the parade. 

Food stands, music, and vendors covered the streets and children I spoke to say they were there for a good time. 

“I love the food, the jumpy houses and Kona Ice. That’s pretty much it,” Harlem Resident Kimber Reese said.  

But the history behind the celebratory event spans beyond food and fun. It’s the birth home of comedian and actor Oliver Hardy. 

James Duke is a vendor and also lives in Harlem, he says while this festival honors Oliver Hardy, it’s also a place for others to shine.

“I think it’s just a great place for people to come and see what their neighbors are doing and get some ideas on what’s something that they may be able to do.” 

Duke is an 82-year-old wood crafter where he gets his materials from chopped down trees in neighboring counties. 

“Most of ‘em come from Lincoln and Wilkes County. This is a dining table, benches that go with it and you see the mailboxes, the benches and all this other stuff. Every bit of it is hand made,” Duke said. 

Though food, music and fun filled the streets of Harlem, those that live there say Oliver Hardy is always at the heart of it.