Thousands to gather, hold hands across the water for victims

A large demonstration of love and support for those affected by the fatal shooting of nine people at Emanuel AME Church will stretch across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on Sunday, with as many as 6,000 people expected to attend, organizers say.

The Bridge to Peace — Unity Chain was organized on Facebook and as of Saturday afternoon, more than 5,700 people had indicated they planned to attend.

According to the Facebook page for the event, it will start at 7:45 p.m., with participants being encouraged to meet on the Mount Pleasant side of the bridge. Further details are available on the Mount Pleasant Police Department’s Facebook page.

Police from both Mount Pleasant and Charleston have asked that participants not congregate as a group, or lean on the fence and that the bike lane should be kept open.

“We want this to be an event that honors the Mother Emanuel AME Church and the citizens of Charleston who continue to make us proud,” organizers said on the Facebook page.

Parking will be available at the Cigar Factory lot and the parking lot of Trident Technical College’s Palmer campus, according to an organizer.

According to a CARTA press release, the bus service will provide free shuttles to and from several different locations to the foot of the bridge on both the Mount Pleasant and downtown sides every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The downtown pick-up and drop-off locations include the Visitor Center parking garage on Mary Street, 995 Morrison Drive on the Conroy Street side, and the foot of Ravenel Bridge pedestrian path on East Bay Street. For Mount Pleasant, the locations are the Visitors’ Center at Waterfront Park, CARTA Bus Stop on Houston Northcutt Boulevard, and the intersection of Patriots Point Road and Coleman Boulevard. See CARTA’s Facebook page for more information.

There also be several other events going on Sunday and throughout the week to recognize the victims and to raise money for the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

The following events also have been scheduled:

What: Participants will gather in Marion Square as the churches of Charleston bells ring bells simultaneously. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

When: 9:30-10 a.m. Sunday

Where: Marion Square, 329 Meeting St., Charleston

What: Everyone is welcome to come to this gathering of songs, scripture reading and prayer in the park. At 11 a.m. the gathering will move to Mother Emanuel AME Church to join parishioners from other churches in prayer. Check the Facebook page for more information.

When: 10 a.m. Sunday

Where: Marion Square, 329 Meeting St., Charleston

What: Charleston Baha’i Community will host a vigil to seek healing through devotion and prayer.

When: 11 a.m. Sunday

Where: Louis Gregory Bahai Museum, 2 Desportes Court (off Duncan St.), Charleston

What: St. Michael’s Church and First Baptist church will bus parishioners following both the 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. services to Emanuel AME Church to surround the church in prayer. St. Philip’s Episcopal will also join following the 11 a.m. service.

When: Noon and 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St., Charleston

What: Greater Goodwill AME Church will host a prayer vigil to honor the nine victims.

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: 2818 U.S. Highway 17, Mount Pleasant

What: The Charleston local music community and the Pour House will present “Don’t Tell Me This Town Ain’t Got No Heart,” a benefit concert to raise money for the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund. The musical lineup will include Dead 27s, The Reckoning, Sol Driven Train, Rodeo Clown, Travelin’ Kine, members of Dangermuffin, The Lowhills, Guilt Ridden Troubadour, Runaway Gin and many more. There is $10 suggested donation and all of the bar profits and tips will go directly to the fund. See the Facebook page for more information.

When: 4 p.m. Tuesday

Where: 1977 Maybank Highway, James Island

What: Trinity United Methodist Church will host a hymn singing service to help those who are grieving. The service is open to the public.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: 273 Meeting St., downtown Charleston

What: The Zumba Instructor Network and Northwood Baptist Church will host a special zumba class followed by a prayer vigil. It costs $10 and there will be child care available for $1. Proceeds will go to Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Northwood Baptist Church, 2200 Greenridge Road, North Charleston