By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
Get ready for the 17th Annual African American Festival and Parade!
This year, the annual festival will cover two weekends – July 15-16 and August 6 – with fun and entertainment for everyone.
The first weekend kicks off with the community wide prayer breakfast (Friday, July 15) and parade (Saturday morning) ending in a free community day for the entire family (Saturday, July 16). The one-day music festival will then take place August 6 with a show-stopping lineup that the committee announced this week.
“We’re excited about what we planned this year, we’re excited about the direction that we’re going in and we’re most excited about our line up…” said Ray Woods, chairman of the African American Festival Committee, as he opened the press conference on Tuesday, June 28.
“We’re bringing our family day back,” remarked Suzette Cowell, founder of the African American Festival and Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union. “Our [music] festival has really grown but we want to bring some more interaction with our community… because that’s why we’re here.”
“Community built us. We have over 4800 members and that’s all community members. We just want to get back to that and show them our appreciation.”
“We’ve been through a very stressful time and this is the time to enjoy one another and show love,” added Cowell.
She’s ready to see Toledoans excited to be together again, enjoying ourselves.
This year’s theme is: ‘Celebrating our History, Health and Education.’ The 17th Annual African American Festival events are:
Annual Community Wide Prayer Breakfast
Friday, July 15, 2022 from 8am-10am
Glass City Metroparks’s Pavilion
1002 Front Street, Toledo Ohio 436050
2022 Honorees: Sonia Flunder-McNair, Sonia Organic and Urban Wholistics; Adam Levine, Toledo Museum of Art; Pastor Willie Perryman, NAACP; Suzanne Rorrick, Toledo Opera; David Ross, The Arts Commission; Councilwoman Vanice Williams, Toledo City Council District 4
Mistress of Ceremonies will be Zahra Aprili Collins, program manager of TUFCU
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union
12th Annual African American Festival Parade (sponsored by Health Partners of Western Ohio)
Saturday, July 16th starting 10am – FREE
Parade route starts at the corner of Dorr Street & Detroit Avenue and will travel up Dorr Street towards
Collingwood; turn South (right) at City Park toward Indiana Ave; turn West (right) on Indiana Avenue and travel towards Detroit Ave ending at Nelson Grace Park located at Detroit Avenue and Indiana.
African American Festival Community Day
Saturday, July 16 starting 12 pm-4 pm – FREE
Nelson Grace Park- Located at the Corners of Detroit and Indiana Avenues
A community fun day filled with family activities, entertainment, food, and fellowship will take place
immediately following the parade. All activities will be free to attendees.
Partners for the event include Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), City of Toledo Human Relations Commission, MetroParks Toledo, Toledo Museum of Art, Heritage Academies, Lucas County Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Ohio, Urban Wholistics; Roshawn Jones Enterprises LLC., Care Source, Frederick Douglass Center, City Park League.
Activities include: MetroParks Climbing Wall, Glass Blowing with TMA Baby Dragon, Inflatables, Horse Rides, Face Painting, Basketball and much more. There will also be a number of community organizations on site with information and resources for children and families.
2022 17th Annual African American Festival Line up: (Saturday, August 6 at Promenade Park)
- Tribute to Rance Allen
- Zia Cook
- Comedian Keith Bender
- Sunshine Anderson
- Lyfe Jennings
- The Whispers
Tickets on sale now! $30 general admission; $65 VIP and can be purchased at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union 1441 Dorr Street Toledo, Ohio 43607 or online at ticketmaster.com. The concert is August 6th from 2pm-10pm at Promenade Park 400 Water St. Doors open at 12:30pm.
For more information about this year’s festival or for sponsorship, vendor, advertisement and parade participation please contact Garnet Cowell or Ma’laya Edwards at 419-255-8876 ext. 205 or email AAFestival@ToledoUrban.net.