The 10th annual African-American Festival, “Celebrating Our History, Health and Education,” will take place rain or shine Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, on The University of Toledo Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.
The festival will offer a family-friendly atmosphere filled with entertainment from national recording artists and local talent. There also will be rides and activities for kids, as well as vendors, in addition to health information and screenings.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to welcome the community to the University,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement and chief diversity officer. “Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation is a beautiful location, and the festival gives people the chance to come here, relax and listen to great music, eat good food, and enjoy the social, very family-oriented atmosphere.”
For the past 10 years, the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union has hosted the celebration. Crowds have grown each year with a reported 15,000 attendees over the two-day event in 2013.
This year the jubilee will begin Friday, July 18, at 8 a.m. with a prayer breakfast at Abundant Life Ministries. Tickets are $10 per person and are on sale at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, located at 1339 Dorr St.
The official kickoff will be a parade Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m. with participation by Rocky and Rocksy and various individuals, groups, organizations and businesses from throughout the city. It will start at Dorr Street and Detroit Avenue and end at Nelson Grace Park.
Dr. Nagi Naganathan, UT interim president, will welcome guests right before 5 p.m. Saturday, July 19.
Festival gates will open each day at 1 p.m., and performances will begin at 2 p.m.
The following entertainers will rock the stage Saturday, July 19: Steve P, Lady K and Band; Jay Rush Jennings; Five Deep Band; Michael Henderson; Ray, Goodman & Brown; and Heatwave.
Sunday, July 20, attendees can expect performances from the Rance Allen Group, Kalvin Hughes Urban Jazz Coalition, Friendship Baptist Church, Abundant Life Ministries Choir, Katrina Barnhill, and The Newson Family Singers.
Free health screenings, sponsored by UT’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement and the College of Medicine Diversity Office, will take place Saturday, July 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 20, from 2 to 6 p.m. Blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings will be available.
Children’s rides are free and sponsored by State Farm Insurance.
“For me, as chief diversity officer, community engagement is a UT core value and the event is one of our most important festivals that we host,” Gore said. “I find it very uplifting to go and to see so many people have a great time at UT while at the same time get their health taken care of. The health screenings have saved lives.”
Tickets may be purchased in advance at eventbrite.com or at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union.