Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, President and CEO of GreiBO Media Shelonda Stokes, members of the Honorary African American Festival Advisory Board and yours truly Radio One Baltimore announced the events, activities, and entertainment for the 2012 African American Festival. The festival takes place at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 7, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 8, 2012, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
“For decades, the African American Festival has brought hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors together to celebrate Baltimore’s historic, cultural, and artistic legacy,” said Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “The festival is also a tremendous opportunity for us to show off our vibrant and exciting city to people from all over the country. I am grateful for the sponsors and members of the Advisory Board who are committed to making the African American Festival a success now and for years to come.”
Radio One Baltimore sponsored the Stone Soul Stage once again this year and secured acts like Elle Varner, Chante Moore, and Musiq to perform on Saturday. On Sunday, legendary hip-hop artists Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Kurtis Blow, and Slick Rick will take the stage.
In addition to the exciting festival entertainment, Mayor Rawlings-Blake also announced the new “Get Moovin” Interactive Zone which honors First Lady Michelle Obama’s physical fitness initiative as a key emphasis at the 2012 Festival. This interactive zone will feature the Xtreme Basketball Xhibition—a number of Olympic style basketball games played by some of the hottest street ballers on the east coast. Fans of the game will enjoy 1 on 1 and 3 on 3 events, as well as a shoot-out competition, a slam dunk competition, and even a test of their ball handling skills.
Another addition to the festival is the Be What You Wanna Be Empowerment Zone. Through a partnership of regional colleges and universities, trade schools, employers, and local institutions, the Empowerment Zone will provide individuals with materials, instructions, and guidance about personal finances.
Also new to the festival is Fashion Alley. This innovative area is designated for education and the celebration of fashion, beauty, and skincare. Fashion Alley will include seminars on fashion tips, make-up, and natural hair care, as well as a junk nails station, a live fashion show featuring local fashion designers, and so much more.
The Kid’s Fair remains a vital part of the festival. There will be more rides, activities, and entertainers performing on the Youth Stage. The African American Festival will also feature traditional areas such as Arts & Culture, Health and Wellness, and Community Row. Attendees will enjoy amazing performances by local artists, chefs, and vendors.
For more information about the African American Festival and programing, please visit http://www.AfricanAmericanFestival.net, follow @BmoreAfram on twitter, or like the festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BmoreAfram.