The African American Festival: “Celebrating Our History, Health and Education”

Suzette Cowell, TUFCU CEO, surrounded by staff and local elected officals, announces African American Festival details

The Truth Staff

Now in its 18th year, the annual African American Festival is still going strong … much stronger in fact after all these years.

Last Thursday, Siuzette Cowell, founder of the Festival and keeper of the flame announced the plans for this 18th version  and, as usual, the newest version will dwarf its humble beginnings.

The 2023 version includes a Friday morning breakfast; a Saturday morning parade followed by a Community Day, and the festival and concert on Saturday afternoon and evening at Promendae Park.

During her Thursday announcement, surrounded by staff and local city and county officials, Cowell noted the extraordinary progress the Festival has undergone since the initial 2005 event at the corner of Dorr and Smead and at Nelson Grace Park – an event that drew around 600 attendees for the entire weekend.

The Zapp Band

The concert will be packed with thousands again this year and the parade,” said Cowell, “ is the most friendly parade” the city features.

The opening event will be the annual African American Prayer Breakfast at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion on Friday July 14 at 8:00 a.m.

On Saturday, the Festival Parade will start at 10 a.m. in front of the Credit Union on Dorr and Detroit. After the parade a Community Day will be held at Nelson Grace Park from noon to 3:00 p.m. The Community Day will present displays and activities for families from a variety of local institutions and organizations such as the Toledo Zoo and the Toledo Museum of Art. Dance teams, horseback riding and other amusements for children will be available.

Later on Saturday, starting at 3:00 p.m. the Festival and Concert at Promenade Park commences with entertainers such as comedienne Kelly Williams and musical performances by Darius Coleman, DJ Lyte N Rod, Freddie Jackson, Stokely, Ginuwine, The Zapp Band.

“Over the years the festival has become a standard for the African American community and the largest African American event held in the City of Toledo,” notes the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union.