BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands gathered inside Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex for an Easter worship service Sunday put on by New Rising Star Church.

Following the worship service, the church held a free fair for the community. Several food trucks and carnival rides were available for people to enjoy.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin attended the celebration. He said events like this paint Birmingham in a positive light.

“To do a citywide Easter celebration, that’s real community impact,” Woodfin said. “To do the Easter egg hunt for family and children, that’s what it’s all about.”

Birmingham residents CBS 42 spoke with said the celebration shows people can come together in the city.

“I’m grateful to be able to see it, and everyone is getting along,” Doris Howard said. “This is a good thing, and I think love got us together at this moment right now.”

“We’re on the west side of town where I grew up, so I’m excited about being here, excited about seeing everybody out here in unity and looking for more of these opportunities,” Charlene Morton said.

With the recent violence Birmingham has seen the past few weeks, senior pastor Thomas Beavers said the citywide Easter celebration is needed and a way for people to talk about the good in Birmingham.

“There is a saying that says bad news travels around the world twice before good news ever gets a chance to put its shoes on, so there are a lot of great things happening in the city,” Beavers said. “There are not enough people talking about those great things.”

Beavers said the event’s success could lead to it becoming an annual occurrence in the city.