The stage is almost set, performers are polishing their acts, and the cooks are icing the cakes, just in time for the 8th annual African American Festival.
The jubilee kicks off this weekend at the University of Toledo Scott Park campus.
Food, fitness, and carnival rides are just a few of the activities planned for the two-day festival, celebrating the history, culture, heritage and arts of the African American community.
The family-friendly event Saturday and Sunday also will feature concerts, a variety of food, cultural exhibits, and health and wellness screenings.
Although the festival is still relatively new, it is growing. It quickly outgrew Nelson Park, where the first festival was held in 2005, drawing a crowd of about 600. Attendance at last year’s festival peaked at about 25,000 people.
“When we’re able to celebrate our culture, it’s always a good thing,” said gospel singer Vickie Winans, who will perform at the festival Sunday. “African-Americans are some of the most talented people in the world. For us to be able to celebrate our accomplishments and achievements, it’s exciting.”
Like in years’ past, the festival will open Friday with a Prayer Breakfast. From 8 to 10 a.m. fair-goers will meet at Serenity Soul Food No.2, 725 Nebraska Avenue, for breakfast.
The official kickoff for the event is Saturday’s parade. Assembly begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Dorr Street and Smead Avenue. The march will feature Mecca Temple No. 43.