The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival that was canceled due to Tropical Storm Ophelia, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at Annapolis City Dock and Susan Campbell Park. The festival is for all ages to celebrate the perseverance, education and cultural heritage of the African Diaspora. Admission is free.
For this event, there will be no parking on Dock Street and no parking at Donner Lot beginning Saturday morning at 7 a.m. and for the duration of the festival.
The festival features art, music, dance, and food of the African Diaspora, including artisan, food, and education vendors. Cultural activities, art, and music and dance performances will be scheduled throughout the day. A children’s tent with fun activities will be presented by the Chesapeake Children’s Museum and Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures. The Main Stage headliner will be The All-Star Purple Party featuring Junie Henderson with special guest Sugar Bear.
Kunta Kinte is the protagonist in Alex Haley’s seminal novel, “Roots: The Saga of An American Family.” In the story, Kunta Kinte was one of 98 enslaved people brought to Annapolis aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Despite many years in bondage, he never lost his connection to his African heritage. Kunta Kinte’s experience symbolizes the struggle of all ethnic groups to preserve their cultural heritage. In Roots, Haley revisits the oral histories told by his grandmother of an ancestor named Kunta Kinte who landed in Annapolis in 1767. Haley’s book spent 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, selling more than 1.5 million copies. In 1977, the television mini-series of the same name launched a boom in the field of genealogy. “Roots” earned a Pulitzer Prize, nine Emmy awards, and a Peabody.
PARKING OPTIONS: The best parking option is Park Place Garage ($5 with a Kunta Kinte Festival voucher, available at the Welcome and Merchandise tents on the day of the festival). The magenta shuttle will service the festival to and from Park Place on a 10-minute schedule. The closest parking is the Hillman Garage with entrances on Duke of Gloucester and Gorman Street. Additional paid parking can be found at Gott’s Garage and Knighton Garage. Limited free parking is available at the State Garage (19 St. John’s Street), with the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival Shuttle running from the garage, Maryland State Archives and Navy Stadium ($10 per car) to the crosswalk at Compromise and Dock Streets. Other transportation includes the Annapolis Water Taxi. Call for the water taxi on VHF 68 or by phone, 410-263-0033.
NO PARKING ZONES: There is no parking on Dock Street and Donner Lot from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. the day of the festival. Resident parking only in the following areas: Prince George Street from Craig to East Streets; East Street from Prince George to King George; Randall Street from Prince George to King George. Follow posted signage. Violators may be subject to ticketing and/or towing.
SPONSORS: Sponsors include: the City of Annapolis, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area, African Tourism Union, Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel, Anne Arundel County, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, The Rev. Samuel Green Foundation, Inc., Maryland Cannabis Administration, Annapolis Friends Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Brown Sound Productions, March on Maryland, New Village Academy, Simply Queen by Sherrell Custom Embroidery & More, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, United Rentals and a host of additional supporters!
For more details on the schedule of activities, performances, exhibitors and food options, please visit www.KuntaKinte.org. To receive direct alerts from the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) during the event, attendees can text “KUNTA” to 38276. Attendees are encouraged to download the PrepareMe Annapolis app to receive OEM and event information.