Out & About

Pan African Festival continues to grow, evolve

Music, dance, food, art, storytelling and food trucks are just some of the things to do at the Pan African Festival, happening this weekend in Cherry Street Plaza in downtown Macon.
Music, dance, food, art, storytelling and food trucks are just some of the things to do at the Pan African Festival, happening this weekend in Cherry Street Plaza in downtown Macon. Special to The Telegraph

Twenty-one years ago, a small volunteer-led community event was born. The goal was to celebrate the many ways in which African culture has influenced this country and other countries around the world.

What began as humble beginnings on the flat bed of a truck in Central City Park has grown and evolved into an 18,000-plus person event.

Join the Tubman Museum as it presents the 2017 Pan African Festival of Georgia.

Venues have changed over the years, but the founding principles of unity, hope, peace and love have never wavered or faltered. Located at Cherry Street Plaza, the festival continues to grow in audience, offerings and impact.

An expanded marketplace is poised to be a highlight of the festival this year along with performances that are great for the whole family. The Children’s Village will return, while new this year is the Empowerment Experience, a compilation of interactive and informative sessions on topics ranging from health and wellness, to religion and finance.

There will be over 20 food vendors on site providing tasty options including Caribbean, southern soul, barbecue, fusion, cakes, doughnuts and more.

Performances will include renowned, Atlanta-based Giwayen Mata, the Rick James’ Stone City Band, along with local and regional choirs. Kim Coles, best known for “In Living Color,” will emcee Saturday evening’s concert.

As explained by staff members of the Tubman Museum, the Pan African Festival is an example of how the museum blends history and the visual and performing arts to tell important stories. The festival explores African American contributions to art, history, and culture that have been influential.

Outdoor concerts and performances in the plaza are free and open to the public. $10 reserved seats directly in front of the large outdoor stage are available for purchase on site. Additionally, admission to the museum is free for members and $5 for non-members.

All festival information and a full schedule can be found online at TubmanMuseum.com, or a new mobile event app is available to be downloaded to smartphones or tablets.

Pan African Festival of Georgia

When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. April 29 (concerts start at 6 p.m.); 11 a.m.-9 p.m. April 30 (concerts start at 2 p.m.)

Where: Cherry Street Plaza and Tubman Museum

Price: Free and open to the public, $10 reserved seating for concerts

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