African American Festival: Snapshots from the Past

Festival this weekend!

STAUNTON, VA (09/11/2012)(readMedia)-- The African-American Heritage Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 15th and 16th, 2012 from 10am-6pm at the Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. This FREE two day festival offers a wide variety of vendors selling soul food, African arts, t-shirts, jewelry, and much more. Festival goers can enjoy our free entertainment; Saturday's line-up includes Joe Pettus and the Fantastic Soul Shakers, Groove Train, and Stable Roots. Children's activities include face painting, story telling, and art & crafts presented by Staunton Public Library and Beverly St. Studio School. On hand will be several community agencies including the VFW Ladies Axillaries and Augusta Health, who will be offering free health screenings. On Sunday morning there will be an old fashion church service under the tent. This year Rev. Dr. Charles Brown from Mt. Marine Baptist Church will be our guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Perkins, the newly elected Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist church in Staunton will be the Worship Leader. Sunday's program also includes a presentation by the Luray Branch Buffalo Soldiers.

This year's theme is Snapshots from the Past: Revealing Historically Significant Aspects of the African American Experience in Staunton. Scholarly discourse on this subject will be made by Nancy Sorrells and Dr. Julius Gaines, local historians. New for this year we will be giving away Festival gifts bags. Some of the bags will have a copy of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum's DVD, Staunton's "Other Park" Montgomery Hall in the Jim Crow Era, or a copy of "Old Uniontown Glances Backwards". These items will be randomly distributed through raffle due to the limited supply. This year we have also created a booklet for distribution entitled "Snapshots from the Past: Revealing Historically Significant Aspects of the African-American Experience in Staunton." Created by Makeba Robinson, the booklet briefly highlights several important African American places and faces from Staunton's past. This publication was done with a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The VFH has worked with us and provided us great leadership and support.

The 2012 festival is made possible with help from our sponsors: The City of Staunton, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Dominion Resources and Fisher Auto Parts Professionals.