On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will return to the Annapolis City Dock for another exciting year of cultural celebration. In its 26th year, the festival is a free event for all ages to enjoy live music and dance performances, world foods and artisans, as well as heritage and history. The festival will be held at Susan Campbell Park at the Annapolis City Dock, 10:00am – 7:00pm.
Highlights of the festival will include:
- Procession by the Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps
- Musical performances by KARMA Showcase Band, DiVine of Annapolis, Tribes R&B Band
- Dance performances by Capoeira Social Project of Baltimore, Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company, and Carr’s Beach Hand Dance Club
- African dance demonstration by Lauren Kelly-Washington of BliS* Moves™
- Children’s Activity Tent sponsored by Chesapeake Children’s Museum
“Come and celebrate the perseverance, education, and cultural heritage of Africans, African-Americans, and Caribbean people of African descent,” said Renee Spears, Chair of the festival planning committee. “Through your support we will continue to preserve the cultural heritage of all African-Americans.”
Throughout the day, live music and dance performances will be held, as well as activities in the Children’s Activity Tent, such as arts & crafts and storytelling. Food vendors will offer delicious world cuisines, while arts and craft vendors will offer unique items for sale.
“We are so happy to bring the festival back this year,” said Jan F. Lee, Co-Chair of the festival planning committee. “The festival is under new leadership and we have a group of dedicated committee members, who have been working hard to rebuild the organization.” Festival sponsors include the City of Annapolis, Whole Foods of Annapolis, The Delicados Inc. Annapolis Chapter, and Domino Sugar.
Free parking can be found at the Calvert Street Garage at 19 St. Johns Street, Annapolis, MD.
In 1767, Kunta Kinte was one of 98 slaves brought aboard the ship Lord Ligonier to the Annapolis city dock to be sold into slavery. This legendary character is known from Alex Haley’s best-selling novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, for he never lost his connection to his African heritage despite many years in bondage. Kunta Kinte’s experience symbolizes the struggle of all ethnic groups to preserve their cultural identity. The original Kunta Kinte celebration was held in Annapolis in September 1987. Over the years, the festival has grown and it continues to be a historical occasion for African Americans and people from all walks of life to come together.